Australia’s Caleb Ewan has won the final stage of the 2019 Tour de France, arriving on the Champs-Elysees for the first time and winning the most prestigious sprint finish in world cycling.
It capped a remarkable debut Tour for the 25 year old Sydneysider, winning the 11th, 16th and 21st stages and stamping a name for himself as one of the world’s best rising stars.
“It’s unbelievable. When we rolled onto Champs-Elysees, I almost had tears in my eyes,” Ewan said on SBS after his win.
“It’s such a surreal feeling and I can’t believe I won the stage. A pretty surreal Tour de France.
“Tour de France started quite slow for me. It was like I could never get there. Every sprint I’ve won so far. To be honest, I didn’t want to say [I could do it].”
Ewan, who races for team Lotto Soudal beating out Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) with a brilliantly timed run to the line.
Ewan said because he had never finished in Paris before he had taken advice from other veteran riders, which he promptly ignored.
“It was quite messy at we were quite far back. But, you know,
I was patient,” he said. “I didn’t know how many guys were in front of me. I waded in and then just run at the wheel.
I went down the right-hand side. I’ve spoken to most sprinters and they said don’t sprint down the right-hand side. I felt that it was quite bumpy when I was on it, but I had enough speed to come through in the end.
Columbian Egan Bernal from Team Ineos sealed his overall victory running safely into Paris in the peloton to signal that, aged 22, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with over many years.
After the stage, Australian cyclist turned SBS commentator Robbie McEwen, the last Australian to win the final stage on the Tour de France, said Ewan was a huge talent.
“I’m speechless at the moment. Look at those speeds,” McEwen said.
“Not your typical bunch sprint. 64km/h but into a head breeze on the Champs-Elysees on the cobbles, and the speed doesn’t really matter. It’s the position in which you hit the line.
“Caleb nearly a length in front.”