Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) won his second stage victory at the 2019 Tour de France with a photo finish in Stage 16 during a bunch sprint on flat course in Pimes, which is most known for its Roman architecture. Meanwhile, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) is out of the race after he injured his hand during a crash in the peloton.
The Aussie rider for Lorro-Soudal won Stage 11 last week in Toulouse during a photo finish.
For a flat Stage 16 in Pimes, Ewan made the perfect move with a calculated gamble with under 500 meters to go. He edged out Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) at the finish line by a half-bike length.
STAGE 16 RESULTS:
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) 3:57:08
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 3:57:08
Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) 3:57:08
“I laid off the wheel and really took a run at it and start sprinting before the rest of the guys, and it worked,” Ewan said. “I said before it’s a dream to be here, and it was such a big dream to win one stage. And now I’ve won two, so I can’t believe it.”
As expected, Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey. There was no changing in the overall GC standings up top.
Stage 16: Pimes
After surviving the Pyrenees, the GC had a day off on Monday followed by a flat ride on Tuesday. Stage 16 featured a 177 km flat course. Cote de St-Jean-du-Pin was the only obstacle of note.
Riders were caught in a bunched sprint on the historic Roman road known as the Pont du Gard. Avoiding crashes were the main concern for all teams and riders.
A final sprint at the finish was expected with Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) coming in as the Stage 16 favorite. He missed a half-bike length.
Ewan was also one of the betting favorites at 5/2 but he was not having his best day at the start of the stage. Ewan still managed to pull off a remarkable finish.
“To be honest I felt so bad today during the day,” Ewan told VeloNews. “I think the heat really got to me and I was actually suffering so much that I was about to tell Maxime to get off of the front because I was suffering. I had extra motivation today, my daughter and my wife are here, so I’m so happy I could win for them.”
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), one of the favorites coming into the 2019 Tour de France, is out after suffering a hand injury. Fuglsang and his teammates crashed with Sunweb.
Defending champ Geraint Thomas (Ineos) survived a solo crash. He received medical attention and finished. He did not lose time on Alaphilippe in the overall lead.
On Deck Stage 17: Pont du Gard > Gap
Stage 17 on Wednesday is a 200 km hilly climb thru the Rhone Valley from the Pont du Gard to Gap. The first one is a gradual category 4 climb up the Cote de la Rochette-du-Buis. The last 10 km is a bit of a doozy as they ascend category 3 Col de La Sentinelle before descending quickly into Gap.
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 61:00:22
Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) +1:35
Steve Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:47
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +1:50
Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) +2:02
With four stages to go before Paris and three more brutal stages in the Alps, the Tour de France is still wide open. Frenchman Thibaut Pinot is 6/4 to win the Tour de France and become the first French winner since 1985. Alaphilippe is 4/1 odds to fend off the pack and win.
Defending champ Geraint Thomas is 3/1 odds to win again. Egan Bernal is 4/1.