© Mario Stiehl

Gp Costa de Almeria 2018, Ewan takes the spoils

Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) wins the Gp Costa de Almeria 2018. The Australian criterium Champion takes out the sprint in Roquetera del Mar after 185 kilometers of racing over Danny Van Poppel (Lotto Nl-Jumbo) and Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis) and Florian Senechal (Quick Step Floors). In today’s sprint Ewan’s leadership has never been questioned. The Aussie carried out his effort without allowing his competitors’ wheels to overtake his ones. Ewan takes the second victory in 2018 season and dictates his law on european soil for the first time this year.

The stage had been marked by the attempt of Maxim Belkov (Katusha-Alpecin), Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Axel Journiaux (Direct Energie), Robert Britton (Rally Cycling), Cristian Rodriguez (Caja Rural.Seguros RGA), Marc Buades (Euskadi) and Dries De Bondt (Veranda’s Willems-Crelan). The breakaway reached a maximum advantage 4’15” after 25 kilometers of racing. Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi) tries to ride across the move but fails in his goal. Thanks to the efforts of Lotto Nl-Jumbo and Mitchelton-Scott men in the lead of the peloton, the gap drops to 2’15” with 100 kilometers to go. In the meanwhile, Tony Martin is forced to receive the assistance of the medical car because of an illness of which the German was suffering before starting.

With just over 87 kilometers to go, along the descent of the Alto de Turrila (4,3 kms, 5%), Maxime Belkov tries a solo attack. After having opened a 30 seconds gap, the chasers reel in the Russian with 70 kilometers remaining. Because of Mitchelton-Scott, Bora-Hansgrohe and Lotto Nl-Jumbo efforts the break’s gap starts to drop again. When the race goes back to the coast Diego Rubio attacks and opens a 15 seconds advantage over the front of the group, but his try doesn’t live long and the peloton chases the Spaniard with 30 kilometers to go. Peio Goikoetxea (Euskadi) tries to emulate Rubio’s deeds but in the end matches Rubio’s achievement.

In the meantime a crash effects a Katusha-Alpecin, a CCC-Sprandi and an Euskadi-Murias man, the peloton splits into two packs, which soon become three. Once the peloton is back together, is starts to squeeze like an accordion and in succession breaks and puts back together because of Lotto Nl-Jumbo and Mitchelton-Scott high pace and of the side wind. The pack is back together with 5 kilometers to go. CCC-Sprandi leads thebunch, with Caja Rural-RGA Seguros, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Lotto Nl – Jumbo and Bora-Hansghohe try to take up space in front of the group. With two kms to go Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe) is affected by a crash and muddy the water in the front of the group. Led by his train, Caleb Ewan starts the sprint in the first positions and takes the win without being questioned.

GP COSTA DE ALMERIA CLASSIFICATION

1 EWAN Caleb Mitchelton-Scott                                         4:35:28
2 VAN POPPEL Danny Team LottoNL-Jumbo
3 DUPONT Timothy Wanty – Groupe Gobert
4 HOFSTETTER Hugo Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
5 SÉNÉCHAL Florian Quick-Step Floors
6 KUMP Marko CCC Sprandi Polkowice
7 WÜRTZ SCHMIDT Mads Team Katusha – Alpecin
8 BARBERO Carlos Movistar Team
9 PLANCKAERT Edward Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
10 ABERASTURI Jon Euskadi – Murias

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