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Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani leave Giro d'Italia with mixed success

Joe Robinson
23 May 2019

Caleb Ewan leaves on the high of two stage victories while Elia Viviani is left wanting

Sprinting duo Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani have both left the Giro d'Italia with varying success as the race heads for its first mountain stage in Pinerolo.

Both riders are scheduled to start the Tour de France on the Saturday 6th July in Brussels so were not expected to see the Giro through to its conclusion in Verona.

It was even more certain when neither rider found themselves in contention for the sprinter's ciclamino jersey, with the classification currently being led by Groupama-FDJ's Arnaud Demare from Pascal Ackermann of Bora-Hansgrohe.

It was widely expected that the race's sprinters would pull out of the Giro after Stage 11 to Novi Ligure with there being 45,000m of elevation left to tackle in the final 10 stages. There is also only one day remaining that could be potentially taken by the sprinters, Stage 18 to Santa Mari di Sala. 

Ackermann and Demare will attempt to ride through the mountains with the temptation of a jersey, however Ewan will leave on a high while Viviani departs the Giro looking for improvements.

Ewan secured two stage wins for his new Lotto-Soudal team - Stage 2 to Fucecchio and Stage 11 to Novi Ligure - and will now leave the Giro confident of his abilities and his team heading into this summer's Tour de France.

Talking to his team post-stage yesterday, Ewan spoke of how he had exceeded expectations with two stage wins.

'I am happy that I came to the Giro, the succession of the long and sometimes challenging stages will have done me good, condition-wise,' said Ewan.

'Of course, I am going home with a great feeling. I came into the Giro and I really wanted to win one stage. To get two is more than I expected, so I am really satisfied with that and I am happy with how the team rode as well.'

Ewan also took the time to praise his teammates Jasper De Buyst and Roger Kluge for their lead-out work en route to the Australian's two victories.

Ewan's success was in stark contrast to Italian national champion Elia Viviani who failed to take a stage victory, citing a dip in form and confidence.

Despite registering three second-placed victories, the 30-year-old Deceuninck-QuickStep rider was unable to get the better of Ewan, Ackermann, Demare and Fernando Gaviria who all took away sprint wins.

Viviani was first across the line on Stage 3 but was relegated for an irregular sprint.

In a statement, the Italian thanked the home support, writing: 'Quitting the Giro d'Italia is painful but my head was no longer there. I missed the goal of winning a stage.

'Everday I had an opportunity, we tried with all our strength and having done so with this conviction and determination gives us the possibility to go ahead without regrets.'

While Viviani will now go away to prepare for the Tour, his Deceuninck-QuickStep team will focus their efforts on working for Luxemburger Bob Jungels.

Jungels is targetting the General Classification and currently sits 4 minutes 8 seconds down on race leader Valerio Conti.

The race resumes today with the first day in the mountains, a 158km stage from Cuneo to Pinerolo.