Ewan aims to emulate McEwen at Le Tour

Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan has claimed his first Tour de France stage win in Toulouse.
Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan has claimed his first Tour de France stage win in Toulouse.

Caleb Ewan finally joined the list of Australian Tour de France stage winners and immediately set his sights on emulating Robbie McEwen with victory on the Champs-Elysees.

Not content to bask in the glory of his maiden win at the famous Grand Tour, Ewan said he wants finish the three-week race and will go "full gas" in the remaining two flat stages - which includes the famous finale in Paris.

"My team won't like me saying this but now if I go home with one win, my Tour will already have been a success," Ewan said.

"But I'm not going to stop now."

Ewan, 25, now has won a stage at all three Grand Tours - adding to his solitary Vuelta a Espana success and his three Giro d'Italia victories.

Riding the Tour for the first time in 2019, Ewan surged past Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen in a mass sprint to prevail by just centimetres.

Ewan survived a hiccup about 10km from the finish of stage 11 when he got caught behind his teammate Jasper de Buyst, who ended up in a ditch, to time his effort perfectly.

"Congratulations @CalebEwan !!! From an impossible position at 10k from the finish to the WIN! Bravo," McEwen tweeted.

Ewan will have to survive the Pyrenees and Alps if he is to make it to the finish line in Paris on Sunday week but if he can he will be among the favourites to win that stage, and stage 16 in Nimes.

And he has the right man to guide him in team boss Marc Sergeant, who helped McEwen win 11 of his 12 stage wins at the Tour while racing for Lotto - two of them on the Champs-Elysees.

On a transition day without big difficulties, the main favourites did not take any risks on the 167km ride from Albi to Toulouse and there were no significant changes in the overall standings.

But there was a crash about 30km from the finish line that left Niki Terpstra with a suspected collarbone fracture and took him out of the race.

Overall contenders Nairo Quintana and Australian Richie Porte were also involved in the pile-up but got back on their bikes.

Porte is 3:59 behind overall leader Julian Alaphilippe, while fellow Australian Jack Haig is 17:59 off the pace and Michael Matthews another seven minutes back.

Matthews is fourth in the sprint classification with 167 points, 19 more than Ewan and 90 adrift of green jersey leader Peter Sagan.

The next moves in the battle for yellow could come on Thursday's 209.5km stage 12, which takes the riders from Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre via climbs of the Peyresourde and the Hourquette a'Ancizan.

Australian Associated Press