Should American fans get excited about welcoming Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott)? "For sure!", the latest Australian sprinting sensation claims as he gets ready to race in the USA for the first time with the 2018 Amgen Tour of California (13-19 May).
The familiars of the unique American World Tour event know all about sprinters and their blunt confidence when it comes to storming to victory at speeds approaching 50mph. They've seen living legends like the King of California Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and the Manx missile Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in action. But "I have a unique style", the young Caleb Ewan advertises.
Much smaller than his rivals (1m65), the australian wonderkid is famous for bending over his handlebar as he powers to victory. In his search for aerodynamics, it seems like Caleb Ewan doesn’t even see where he’s going, although he often finds his way to victory. A unique, very spectacular style... And an absolutely successful one: 30 victories to his name at only 23 years old. With Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Caleb Ewan is the main figure of a new generation of sprinters trying to take over the bunch gallops.
Caleb Ewan has already found victory on Grand Tours, both on the Giro d'Italia and La Vuelta. Now he'll race the Amgen Tour of California for the first time, en route to his maiden participation in the Tour de France this summer. “I’ve never been in California before but that’s a race I’ve wanted to do for a while”, he says. “It’s a nice race to watch on TV. You always see a good GC field and a also a good sprint field, I’m looking forward to it.”
In California, Caleb Ewan will find the best opportunity to see where he is compared to the fastest riders in the World, as Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish and also Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) are all to line up for one of the main sprinters showdown of the year. “It will be my first race after sort of a little break”, the Australian explains. “I don’t think I’ll be racing from Milan-Sanremo until California, that’s almost two months. I’m probably gonna do a training camp beforehand, and then go there. It will be good to test myself against the best sprinters.”
“It’s important for everything, the legs and the confidence”, Caleb Ewan adds. In the 7-day World Tour event, with a time-trial and a few very demanding stages, three bunch gallops are expected for the likes of Caleb Ewan to shine. “It’s important to kick-off with a good start, try to go for a win, especially with the sprinters you have there”, the young Aussie states. “If you can win in California, it shows you’re going good and you can win everywhere.”
Caleb Ewan will also find out by himself about the beauties that make California such an attractive place to riders and non-riders. “It looks pretty cool: nice weather, nice beaches and some nice mountains as well”, he anticipates. “It’s a nice place and I’m looking forward to going.” No doubt his unique style will receive a warm welcome from fans used to falling for spectacular riders.