A few hours after the end of stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia, a Caleb Ewan smiley reacted to the images of the unfortunate accident which deprived the Australian of a chance to compete in the sprint in Visegrád.
“Right now there’s like a perfect scenario for me,” Ewan said of his position a few hundred yards away. “They had it lined up and I was on third wheel so it was perfect for me.”
Many of the pure sprinters had been left behind earlier on the short but arduous climb to the finish line, but Ewan had held on and looked set to fight for the stage win.
“Then I think where it all started to go wrong was pretty much here when I started to get good and Magnus [Cort] we also went right and then collided,” Ewan explained what happened about 150 yards from the line. “And then I think I downshifted a gear and was just too fat.”
Ewan was now third on the road and accelerating, but overspeeding and perhaps half-blinded from the effort, he got too close to the wheel in front.
“In the end, I think Girmay and Van der Poel got a bit close and I was really too close to the wheel. Then when he [Girmay] jumped, I just cut [his wheel] and then it was all over from there.
The young Australian hit the ground hard but fortunately came out of it more disappointed than physically injured.
“I think most of the time right now it’s just skin, but you never know,” Ewan said of his injuries. “I’m pretty sure I didn’t break anything, which is good.”
After Harm Vanhoucke hit the ground hard in the race to the finish, Ewan’s crash capped a disappointing start to the Giro d’Italia for Lotto Soudal, especially after such good signs in the final.
“I felt really good. I was still there in that last mile period where I knew I had to go with all the moves,” Ewan said. “I was able to keep up, so I think I can take a lot of Positives: The team was really good. Everyone got to the markers they needed to surrender, so they were super strong. I also felt very strong.