The 21-year-old arrived with his Orica-GreenEdge team to York hours before a pre-race press conference on Thursday where he outlined his aims for the three-stage race he isn’t overly familiar with.
“I just go there this afternoon so the first time I saw the profile was just then when I had a look through the book,” he said at the conference.
Ewan referred to Team Sky, which has defending race champion Lars-Petter Nordhaug, when he reasoned his GC chances at the second edition of the event that has been designed to see the title determined on the final stage. Sky won the opener last season and raced defensively to keep the leader’s jersey thereafter, which by most tactical accounts it won’t be able to do again this week based on the course.
“To be honest I don’t think I’ll be able to,” Ewan said of winning the race. “Even if I win the first two stages and have a decent lead, Sky are still going to absolutely smash the field apart and when they decide to do that I’ve got no hope of staying with them.”
Yorkshire will mark a return to racing for Ewan, who hasn’t competed for some six weeks following a packed early season program that started at the Bay Crits in January and finished with Tirreno-Adriatico last month.
“You lose the race mentality when you haven’t raced for a while so I just want to get used to riding in the bunch and getting that race feel back before the Giro,” he said.
“The start of the season was so hectic for me … so it was good to have a bit of a break and train up again. I’ve got plenty of racing in my legs already this year so it was good to have a break and come back up for the Giro.”
Ewan has marked five victories already this season and along with Adam Yates will lead Orica-GreenEdge at Yorkshire. The national criterium champion said a sprint finish at the end of Friday’s opening stage from Beverley to Settle isn’t a guarantee despite the flat course profile.
“I don’t really know what my race form is like because I haven’t raced for almost six weeks now so I don’t know what to expect of tomorrow, especially for the last part of the race,” he said. “Although it’s supposed to be a sprint it’s going to be tough. It’s a hard one to call, it’s not really a straight forward sprint like I hoped it would be.”
SBS will broadcast and live stream all stages of the 2016 Giro d'Italia from 6 - 29 May.