Australian cycling stars Caleb Ewan, Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis will all race for the first time with their new teams in domestic January races.
Cycling Central

1 Jan 2019 - 8:17 AM  UPDATED 1 Jan 2019 - 8:33 AM

Caleb Ewan wants to shift the main focus as quickly as possible from his new colours back to winning form.

The sprint ace joins Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis as Australian cycling stars who are debuting with new teams next month in domestic races.

After a difficult exit from Australian team Mitchelton-Scott, Ewan will show off his Lotto-Soudal jersey for the first time on 1 January in race one of the Bay Crit series.

Ewan will renew his rivalry with Victorian sprinter Brenton Jones (Delko–Marseille Provence KTM) in the three-race Lexus Blackburn series, which starts with a twilight criteriums on Geelong's Ritchie Boulevard hotdog circuit.

Tuesday 1 Thursday 3 January
Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits LIVE on the Cycling Central Facebook page

Tuesday 1 January
Women - 5pm
Men - 6pm

Wednesday 2 January
Women - 5pm
Men - 6pm

Thursday 3 January
Women - 1pm
Men - 2pm

The breakup of the BMC team means Porte has gone to Trek-Segafredo and Dennis is now riding for Bahrain-Merida.

The three stars will be top attractions at Adelaide's 13 - 20 January Santos Tour Down Under.

It is the first World Tour race of the season and Ewan will use the Bay Crits and next weekend's road nationals to build his form.

The 24-year-old has not raced since winning a stage of the September Tour of Britain.

"I'm very excited but I will try to keep my focus on my preparation and performance and not the jersey," Ewan said.

"I'd like to think that remains the same despite whatever jersey you may be wearing in a race, be it your current team, a former team or even national colours."

He is a three-time Bay Crits series winner, while Jones has won it once.

Ewan is coming into the domestic summer off the back of a Lotto-Soudal training camp in Europe, where he started working with his new teammates on the all-important sprint train.

One of his teammates throughout the Australian racing in January will be compatriot Adam Hansen, one of pro cycling's top domestiques.

"I think I'm coming into the Bay Crits in pretty good shape," Ewan said.

"The reality is though that the Bay Crits are my first races for some time ... so I expect there's going to be a level of racing cobwebs I need to work though."

Mitchelton-Scott announced last January that Ewan would make his long-awaited Tour de France debut, but he was a controversial last-minute omission from their lineup.

From that point, it was clear Ewan would leave Mitchelton-Scott, where he had raced for five years.

Australian stars Chloe Hosking (Alé–Cipollini) and Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) are among several top riders in the women's series, which will start at Richie Boulevard late on Tuesday afternoon, immediately before the men's race.