Australian Caleb Ewan sprinted to his first victory at Tour of Poland in stage 4 Tuesday. Orica-Scott’s speedster nipped Sky’s Danny van Poppel at the line. Race leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) sprinted to third in Zabrze.
“Today worked out perfectly, Luka [Mezgec] delivered me really well and it was good to have no real hurdles in my way so I could start sprinting when I wanted to and it payed off,” Ewan said.
The world champion Sagan kept his overall race lead in the seven-day tour.
At 238 kilometers, the fourth stage was Tour of Poland’s longest day. Apart from hot conditions, it was not a particularly difficult race. The route had a long, flat run to the finish after one categorized climb soon after the start in Zawiercie.
“It was a very long stage, I could even say maybe too long, under a scorching sun and hot temperatures. It was also very fast, with an average speed of 42km/h,” said Sagan.
In the finale, Orica-Scott’s Luka Mezgec led-out Ewan. The two were elbow-to-elbow with van Poppel and his lead-out man, on the right. Van Poppel moved onto Ewan’s wheel as the sprint wound up.
For a moment, Sagan pulled even with Ewan, closing in on the finish line. However the 23-year-old had an extra gear and powered past the Slovak to victory.
Van Poppel made a late charge but could only manage to move up to second in the sprint.
“We used Caleb’s strengths and Luka’s strengths well,” said Orica-Scott director Scott McPartland. “They sat a little further back in the bunch and came together really late, and Luka did his job to perfection in the final.”
Wednesday’s stage 5 will be far hillier and much shorter at 130km. The stage runs from Olimp Nagawczyna to Rzeszów, including four categorized climbs in the second half of the route.
Stage 4, top five
1. Caleb Ewan (AUS/ORS) in 5h38:49
2. Danny Van Poppel (NED/SKY), s.t.
3. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOH), s.t.
4. Boy Van Poppel (NED/TFS), s.t.
5. Sacha Modolo (ITA/UAD), s.t.
1. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOH) in 15h41:47
2. Dylan Teuns (BEL/BMC), at 10sec
3. Rafal Majka (POL/BOH), at 16sec
4. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN), at 20sec
5. Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED/CPT), at 25sec