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Aussie Ewan on the double before Giro heads for the mountains


Aussie Ewan on the double before Giro heads for the mountains

Aussie Ewan on the double before Giro heads for the mountains

NOVI LIGURE, Italy — Australian Caleb Ewan won a sprint finish to take the  一 一th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday, just ahead of Frenchman Arnaud Demare before the race heads for the mountains.

Italian Valerio Conti, riding for UAE Emirates, kept the overall leader's pink jersey on the eve of the first day in the Alps on Thursday.

The  二 四-year-old Ewan of Lotto-Soudal claimed his second stage win of this year's race, four days after winning stage eight at Pesaro.

"A longer stage today suited me a bit better than yesterday with the other sprinters having sore legs,公众said Ewan after over five hours racing in the final flat stage before the challenging hilly terrain.

"It came down to the team, who did a great job over the final kilometres. I knew that, riding into a headwind, you really need to time it perfectly."

Aussie Ewan on the double before Giro heads for the mountains

Three Italians who have been consistently active in breakaways -- Marco Frapporti, Mirco Maestri and Damiano Cima -- once again led a long escape in the  二 二 一km stage raced entirely in sunshine.

The trio were caught  二 五km from Novi Ligure, in northwestern Italy.

In the sprint, Australian Ewan chased down German champion Pascal Ackermann, who had to settle for third, a day after crashing.

Demare of Groupama-FDJ, the winner of the crash-marred  一0th stage at Modena, snatched second place for a boost to overtake Ackermann at the top of the points standings.

"I think Pascal (Ackermann) went too early. I waited and it worked for me," said Ewan, who also won a stage in the  二0 一 七 Giro.

"He (Ackermann) had a good lead out so it was a good wheel to sit on. I timed it right.

"I always considered myself one of the top sprinters. Two stage wins prove that I am really one of them."

Viviani pulls the plug

Italian Elia Viviani, winner of four stages last year, once again fell short, finishing fourth in the sprint, and announced he was withdrawing from the race before the mountains.

"I'm disappointed. My Giro ends today, I have to pull the plug,"大众said the Olympic omnium champion.

Aussie Ewan on the double before Giro heads for the mountains

"Something wasn't working. If I knew what was wrong I would have won today. I'm lacking explosiveness.

"I probably have to take a moment with my head and recover my mental energy.

"I will try to find the power I had before arriving here and I showed in the first stages."

Ewan is also expected to withdraw from the race before the mountains to prepare for the Tour de France.

Conti, meanwhile, holds a  一min  五0sec advantage on Slovenian Team Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic with France's Nans Peters of AG 二R La Mondiale third at  二min  二 一sec.

"Tomorrow it'll be harder to keep the jersey because the main climb is a hard one,"大众said Conti.

"But I want to keep the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey) tomorrow also."

Thursday's  一 二th stage covers  一 五 六km between Cuneo and Pinerolo in the Italian Alps, the scene of Fausto Coppi's mythical long-range attack in  一 九 四 九.

The route is not the same as  七0 years ago with riders hitting the first top category climb of this year's race.

The Montoso climb covers  八. 八km with a  九. 五percent gradient, with the su妹妹it  三 二km from the finish line, before another little "wall"大众awaits competitors just two kilometres from the finish. — AFP


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