Caleb Ewan fulfilled his dream of taking the prestigious Tour de France sprint on the Champs-Élyées, eight years after making a vow to win there.
The Lotto-Soudal sprinter powered ahead of his rivals on stage 21 of the Tour to take his third victory of this year’s race, cementing a phenomenal debut.
Ewan was the only sprinter to notch multiple victories in this year’s race, as he bested Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) in the final opportunity.
The 25-year-old said: “It’s unbelievable. Just to roll down the Champs-Élysées is such a surreal feeling. The Tour de France started up quite slow for me. I thought I was not going to make it but the second half of the race has been incredibly successful for me
“Eight years ago on my first visit to the Champs-Élysées I said I’d win here one day. It’s fantastic that it happened on my first Tour.”
Ewan found himself a long way back in the bunch on the final straight, as three riders spread out across the road in front of him.
But he was able deploy his trademark technique of sprinting into a gap to get the full benefit of the slipstream, before darting right and passing everyone to take stage honours.
Groenewegen was closest to matching Ewan as he sprinted left, but appeared to give up before the line and missed out on a repeat of his stage 21 victory back in 2017.
Ewan added: “It was quite a messy sprint today. I was quite far back. I waited and I just ran out of wheels. I went to the right hand side and I was lucky that I had enough speed at the end.”
His move to Lotto-Soudal have proven inspired as he has won stages in both the Giro and now the Tour for the Belgian squad, having been left in the wilderness by his old team Mitchelton-Scott, as they pursued general classification hope in Grand Tours.