The most recent winner of a Giro d’Italia stage is not on Campagnolo’s most recent groupset. But he does have a couple of neat tricks like extended thumb shifters for better access from the drops.
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) won stage 5 of the Giro on Campagnolo’s 11-speed Super Record EPS group, not its latest 12-speed offering. Ewan likes the 27-tooth cog, team officer Philippe Maerten said, and that’s not an option on any of the newer 12-speed cassettes. Up front, Ewan uses a 54/39 crankset with an SRM power meter.
Of course, saying Ewan is not on the latest equipment is a bit of an overstatement, as it only applies to the groupset. His Ridley Noah Fast Disc frameset is top of the line, and the Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 60 wheels were just released. While tubeless tires have been used before in grand tours, their presence is still notable as many teams still use tubulars.
Standing 5’5″ and sprinting in an incredibly low position, Owen requires a small bike. In the past, he has used a stock XS frame (which is roughly a 52cm). His mechanic told our photographer James Startt that he is riding a custom machine that is closer to a 49cm. Comparing and measuring from photos of both bikes seems to support this, but I have asked Maerten for confirmation and will add that information here as soon as I receive it.
Regarding the thumb shifters, Campagnolo’s Nicolò Ildos confirmed that they are indeed brand new.
“It’s an evolution we did listening to sprinters’ needs,” Ildos told VeloNews. “It has been a long process but as you can see from the results well worth it!”
This style of EPS shifters is not available to consumers. Instead, Ildos said, this product shows “with real fact the support we do guarantee to pro teams.”
Please note that Ewan’s bike was shot a few days before his stage win, and team mechanics have since put on new bar tape.
Check out Startt’s photos below for a closer look.
Ridley uses grooves down the front of the head tube as boundary layer trips to improve aerodynamics. The steerer tube is D-shaped to allow for internal routing of the brake and shifting lines, again in the pursuit of minimal drag. (And note the extended thumb shifters!)
Ewan beat Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos) to the line on stage 5.
Ewan’s Ridley Noah Fast Disc with Campagnolo’s new tubeless wheels.
Most teams use numbers to designate each rider’s primary, secondary, and often tertiary bikes.
Ewan has the lowest frontal profile of the Giro sprinters.
Campagnolo’s EPS group features buttons in the same places as the company’s mechanical groups — at the thumb and behind the brake lever. But Ewan’s thumb lever is a little different from most.
Ewan has an extended thumb lever that makes it easier to engage with his hands in the drops when he is sprinting. (Not that he would be shifting the left shifter/front derailleur shown here, but the right shifter for the rear derailleur is the same.) This new style is only available for pros sponsored by Campagnolo.
Ewan uses the ‘old’ 11-speed Campagnolo Super Record EPS group.
Caleb Ewan has now won four stages of the Giro d’Italia in his career.
Ewan doesn’t put himself at the front of the Giro until the very, very end of a stage.