The first day of the new year wasn’t kind to Caleb Ewan, as he crashed on the first stage of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic. Things improved on January 3, with a final-day victory, while January 4 was better again, with a second straight Australian national criterium title.
The 22-year-old Orica-Scott rider bested Scott Sunderland of IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness and Brenton Jones of JLT Condor on the uphill drag in Ballarat with time to celebrate and confirm his status as Australia’s premier fast man.
“Coming back here, I can’t remember how many times I have raced on this course before, but I have done well from getting a lead-out and also from coming behind,” Ewan said of his victory, which adds to his 2016 triumph and 2015 U23 victory.
“I think when I got boxed off the wheel in the last corner I didn’t panic too much. If I didn’t have the confidence, I might have panicked and waited too late for my sprint. I knew I had to go straight away when I came out of the corner to get to the front, and I did that and that obviously comes with confidence.”
Ewan had Mitch Docker and Damien Howson for company but, as the only WorldTour riders with teammates in the race, the trio showed their class to be a level above that of top Australian Continental team IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness. The newly merged squad controlled the race and were well placed for the final corner.
However, the 165cm and 61kg Ewan, versus the taller and heavier Sunderland on an uphill finish, used his confidence and experience to finish it off with aplomb.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com