• Australian rider Caleb Ewan of Mitchelton-Scott Almeria Cyclist Classic race (AAP)Source: AAP
Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) made it look easy at the Clasica de Almeria, his first European race of 2018.
Cycling Central

12 Feb 2018 - 9:17 AM  UPDATED 12 Feb 2018 - 9:26 AM

But, as Ewan told the gathered press, his win over Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Timothy Dupont (Wanty - Group Gobert) was tougher than it looked.

"It was a bit hectic there in the final with the crash," Ewan said. "And our team got split up there but everyone came back together around two kilometres to go and they delivered me perfectly.

"I didn't have to do too much. Luka (Mezgec) took me to 200m to go and I could start my sprint with no interruptions so it was perfect."

“I haven’t raced with these lead-out guys since the Tour of Britain so that’s a fair chunk of time away. It is good to get the confidence back in working together and that nothing has really changed.

Of the 185 kilometre race he just conquered, Ewan said, "it was a pretty tough race out in the back there, there's a few climbs and a little bit of wind I was really nervous coming into the laps as well so it was a pretty tough stage.

"Sprinting in the aero position was good because of the headwind finish."

The victory builds on top of his stage two win and several top three placings at the season opening Tour Down Under. 

"I'm pretty happy with how the season started. And I've a lot of confidence going into my next races as well."

Ewan's next race is the five-stage Abu Dhabi Tour from 21-25 February 2018. 

Earlier, seven riders slipped away after seven kilometres and were away until 35 kilometres to go, after Mitchelton-Scott worked hard with LottoNL-Jumbo and Bora-Hansgrohe to peg back the break's maximum advantage of four minutes and 30 seconds. A flurry of late attacks were kept in check again by Ewan's team.