• Caleb Ewan at Stage 3 of the 2019 Bay Crits in Victoria, Australia (Con Chronis)
Caleb Ewan is set to race the Giro d’Italia before making an overdue debut at the Tour de France with new team Lotto Soudal this season.
By
Sophie Smith

Source:
Cycling Central
4 Jan - 8:27 AM  UPDATED 4 Jan - 9:12 AM

The schedule marks a fresh start and change of pace for the aerodynamic sprinter, who was advertised but controversially omitted for the Tour with Mitchelton-Scott last year.

Ewan still stung by Tour of France debut denial
Fast man Caleb Ewan is closing his season and a four-year tenure with Mitchelton-Scott at the Tour of Britain this week, still stung from the denial of a publicly promised Tour de France debut.

The 24-year-old has marked three Grand Tour appearances throughout his career, the last being the 2017 Giro in which he won a stage before abandoning at the midway point of the race.

Will Caleb Ewan go for a fourth straight criterium title? Watch the 2019 FedUni Road Nationals tonight (Friday 4 Jan) on the Cycling Central Facebook page live from 5.10pm AEDT. 

“When I start the Giro this year it’s going to be like two years since I started a Grand Tour, which is not ideal,” he said.

Ewan said the dry Grand Tour run was not the primary impetus for the planned Giro and Tour double in 2019.

“It will be good to start a Grand Tour before the Tour actually starts but I think it’s also about getting wins as well,” he said

“There are a lot of sprint opportunities [at the Giro]. I’m pretty much the main sprinter of the team so I think it’s a good opportunity for me to try and get some stage wins. If I can get stage wins there it will give me confidence going into the Tour also.

"They’re giving me pressure but they’re also giving me pretty much full support. I’m going to put more pressure on myself than the team is going to anyway, so it’s not affecting me at all.”

“There is a little bit more pressure, but I’ve always said if I’m going to have the pressure, which I also had at Mitchelton, I prefer to have the support with me as well.

"They’re giving me pressure but they’re also giving me pretty much full support. I’m going to put more pressure on myself than the team is going to anyway, so it’s not affecting me at all.”

Lotto Soudal's plan for Ewan to excel
Lotto Soudal sports director Mario Aerts has outlined a plan to have Caleb Ewan mentioned in the same breath as the sprinting elite of the sport once the Australian joins the squad next year.

Ewan entered the Bay Crits this week on the back of a long off-season in which he got married and was able to reset ahead of what looks to be a promising partnership with Lotto Soudal, which is betting on the Australian.

“I had almost two months of not really training so it was a long time. I started back I think the second week of November, but training has been going good since then,” he said.

“It’s good to have a big reset and refocus for this year. I felt like I got that. I was really motivated when I came back and still really motivated to start this year well.”

Ewan has already shown his intent for the season ahead, winning two out of an available three stages at the Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits that finished Thursday.

Caleb Ewan's runaway win on Stage 2 of the 2019 Bay Crits

“I’ve had a little bit of a different approach, I haven’t done so much intensity so the Crits have been pretty hard for me,” he said. “But I think they will bring me up to another level into nationals and then into Down Under. Hopefully I’m in my peak form by the time Down Under starts.”

Caleb Ewan does it again at the 2019 Bay Crits

Will Caleb Ewan go for a fourth straight criterium title? Watch the 2019 FedUni Road Nationals tonight (Friday 4 Jan) on the Cycling Central Facebook page live from 5.10pm AEDT. 

Ewan will also be in action on Sunday 6 January in the men's road race at the 2019 FedUni Road Nationals LIVE on SBS and streaming at Cycling Central from 1pm AEDT.