Caleb Ewan took his second scalp at the Tour Down Under on Friday, pipping in-form Irish rival Sam Bennett, who was left to question instructions provided in the race manual after the fourth stage.
A forecast for strong winds that could potentially have split the peloton didn’t eventuate, allowing the sprinters to contest what was a technical finish at the end of a nervous day in which Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) came off the wheel of Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) to take line honours, with Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) third.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step were driving at the front of the bunch with five kilometres to go, before the peloton navigated a bottleneck at 1.5 kilometres and then a right-hand corner with 300 metres remaining.
“I wanted to be on his wheel,” Ewan said. “I told [teammate] Roger [Kluge] to put me on his wheel coming into that corner and then to be honest a finish like that suits me pretty well, with the corner right near the finish line, when it’s an acceleration basically to the line.