Ewan and Weening to lead ambitious Tour de Langkawi missionThu 5 Mar 2015
Neo-pro sprinter Caleb Ewan and multiple Grand Tour stage winner Pieter Weening will lead ORICA-GreenEDGE in a dual-focused Tour of Langkawi starting this Sunday.
“We are going there with two leaders,” sport director Matt Wilson said. “One for sprints in Caleb and one for general classification in Pieter.”
“The Tour of Langkawi is a pretty simple format really, it’s seven sprint stages and one general classification day and very rarely does a breakaway survive.”
Ewan returns to racing following his double-stage victory effort at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia, on route to Europe.
“The idea behind the program is that he will hopefully have three or four wins under his belt before he even hits Europe and he is definitely on the way to doing that,” Wilson said of Ewan.
“He has been at the Sun Tour which is probably one of the lower level competitions we will do all year and then Langkawi is a definite step up from that before he touches down in Europe.”
Ewan will have the full support of a sprint train in multiple world track champion Leigh Howard and British sprinter Adam Blythe.
“We wanted to take a good team to support Caleb,” Wilson said.
“We know how many sprint stages there are and we wanted to get him working with the young guys in the team to get used to working with each other and hopefully start setting up a good thing for the future.
“Andrea Guardini (Astana Pro Cycling) will be the biggest challenge in the sprints. He is coming off some really good form and is the most prolific stage winner of Tour of Langkawi so him, at Langkawi, on form, will be very very hard to beat and that is going to be a big challenge for Caleb.”
For Weening, who finished second overall in 2013, it is all about the seventh stage finish atop Genting Highlands.
The Dutchman will have the valuable support of New Zealand’s Sam Bewley and Australian Damien Howson, who rode alongside teammate Cameron Meyer to victory at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour last month, in the do or die battle.
“It’s all or nothing on stage seven for general classification,” Wilson said.
“There is very little chance if you don’t get the lead on that day or you have a bad day to ever get it back because the stages are too easy to control.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE at le Tour de Langkawi (8-15 March 2015):