New Zealander Patrick Bevin leads into a corner in Stirling. Picture: Sarah Reed
New Zealander Patrick Bevin leads into a corner in Stirling. Picture: Sarah Reed

Aussie Caleb Ewan stripped of Tour Down Under stage win

RACE leader Patrick Bevin crashed in the final 10km and Aussie Caleb Ewan was sensationally stripped of his line-honours win in a dramatic penultimate stage of the 2019 Tour Down Under.

Lotto-Soudal recruit Ewan looked like he had backed up his Down Under Classic victory of last Sunday by producing a blistering sprint to score line honours at Strathalbyn.

But race commissaires didn't look kindly on his contact with other riders in his dash to the line and disqualified him from the finish, awarding UAE Team Emirates rider Jasper Philipsen the stage win, with Bora-Hansgrohe star Peter Sagan runner-up.

Ochre jersey wearer Bevin was caught up in a crash in the middle of the peloton 10km from the finish line.

The CCC Team rider grabbed his knee and elbow before climbing gingerly back on his bike while the peloton slowed and waited for him to return up ahead.

Clearly in pain, he showed grit to ride to the finish line but it could have huge repercussions for Sunday's final stage.

His team tweeted immediately after the stage that he was in the ambulance on his way to get X-rays.

"We will continue to provide an update on his condition," the team said.

Earlier, reigning champ Daryl Impey started the stage in fine style by winning the first intermediate sprint ahead of Bevin at Myponga on Saturday to shave a second off Bevin's seven second overall general classification lead.

But Bevin returned the favour ahead of Impey at Inman Valley to restore the seven second margin.

The stage started in perfect conditions at Glenelg but a southerly wind began to cause mayhem when the peloton reached the coastal towns of Victor Harbor and Goolwa before heading to the Strathalbyn finish.