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Giro d'Italia

Caleb Ewan on Giro d’Italia crash: ‘I just clipped it and that was all over’

Australian sprinter ace rues 'perfect opportunity' for the pink jersey that was dashed after he clipped a wheel and crashed heavily.

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BUDAPEST (VN) — Caleb Ewan went from hoping to win the pink jersey to eating Hungarian tarmac in an instant in Friday’s dramatic stage 1 finish to open the 2022 Giro d’Italia.

The Lotto-Soudal sprint ace recounted what happened after he clipped the wheel of Biniam Girmay just meters from the finish line.

Ewan could only rue a missed chance as Mathieu van der Poel dashed to victory and the pink jersey.

“It was a perfect scenario for me,” Ewan said. “They had lined it out and I was on the third wheel. It was perfect for me, but where it all starts to go wrong is here [watches video] when I went right, Magnus [Cort] also went right, and we collided and I shifted down a gear.

“I was in way too big of a gear, and in the end, Girmay and Van der Poel came together and I was way too close to the wheel. When he popped, I just clipped it, and that was all over from there.”

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Luckily, he was not seriously injured despite the brutal fall, and Ewan said he could take “positives” out of the otherwise disappointing outcome.

“I felt really good. In that last K, when I knew I had to follow all the moves, I was able to follow,” he said Friday evening. “I think I can take a lot of positives. The team was really good. Everyone got their markers that they needed to get to. I felt really strong as well.”

Ewan told reporters after what he called “a hard hit out” to test his form in the time trial on Saturday’s second stage that he’s optimistic for his recovery ahead of Sunday’s sprint finish.

“I feel alright, you never know how you’ll feel until you wake up and then get on the bike. Surprisingly I felt pretty good today,” Ewan said Saturday. “I think for the moment it’s just skin – nothing was broken which is the main scare.”

Ewan is one of a clutch of sprinters including Girmay and Mark Cavendish that will be scrapping in stage 3’s flat finish Sunday.

“I felt good today. Tomorrow’s the important one so hopefully I’ll wake up feeling good again,” he said.