Ewan Wins Second Tour de France Stage, Fuglsang Crashes Out
- Caleb Ewan won Stage 16 of the Tour de France, his second victory this year.
- Ewan made a powerful attack at the finish to beat out Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen in a bunch sprint.
- Pre-race favourite Jakob Fuglsang, who had been struggling to earn a good position on the General Classification, dropped out of the race after a crash.
With a startling burst of power at the finish, Caleb Ewan breezed past his rival sprinters to win Stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday.
Coming out of the race’s second and final rest day, Ewan saved his attack until just moments before the line on the rolling, 177K course that started and ended in the southeastern city of Nîmes.
From seven positions back in the bunch sprint, Ewan mounted a furious 67 kph charge that took him to the front of the pack. Gracefully avoiding a small check by Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s Maximiliano Richeze, he beat out Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen—two other pre-stage favourites who took second and third, respectively—by a clear bike length.
It’s the second stage win this year for Ewan, a 25-year-old Australian and Tour de France rookie who benefitted from pre-riding the course’s final kilometers before the start. He also prevailed in a sprint to win on Stage 11, his first victory after reaching the podium four times already in this year’s Tour.
“I had extra motivation today: My daughter and my wife were here,” Ewan, who became a father last month, told reporters after Stage 16. “I’m so happy I can win for them.”
Not much changed on the General Classification, as most of the yellow jersey contenders finished safely with the peloton. But there was one major exception: Jakob Fuglsang, Astana’s GC hopeful who entered the day in ninth but has struggled to earn a favorable position in the overall rankings, went down in a crash with Sunweb’s Cees Bol with about 25K to go.
The 34-year-old Dane took off his helmet when he got up, a sure sign that something had gone wrong and that he wouldn’t be able to continue. Word came soon afterward that Fuglsang, who won the Critérium du Dauphiné stage race in June, had officially dropped out of the Tour with an injured hand.
Crashes occurred throughout the stage, which riders raced as a brutal heatwave descended upon southern France. Returning Tour champion Geraint Thomas mis-timed a curb and crashed early on, suffering a gash in his leg after hitting the tarmac hard. But he recovered and rode back to the group to finish with the main contenders, retaining his second overall position at 1:35 behind race leader Julian Alaphilippe.
“He’s okay. He needed another bike,” Ineos sports director Nicolas Portal said of Thomas. “All his left side is a bit messed up, but nothing serious. We have to refocus after the rest day.”
The race heads into the Alps later this week, when the favorites will fight a final battle for Alaphilippe’s yellow jersey, which the Frenchman defended valiantly in the Pyrenees.