Ewan claims 10th professional and first stage race victory at Tour de KoreaSun 14 Jun 2015
Neo-pro sprinter Caleb Ewan has wrapped up overall victory at the Tour de Korea, claiming his tenth professional and first ever stage race win in the process.
Ewan entered the final day of racing with an eight second advantage and cleverly secured the victory with intermediate bonus seconds before finishing fifth on the stage.
It wraps up a highly successful Tour for ORICA-GreenEDGE who finish with four stage wins, the overall title, best young rider and points classification with Ewan, and third overall for final lead out man Adam Blythe.
“The goal coming into the week was to get a stage win and we got four, plus the sprint, young rider and general classification,” Ewan said. “It’s been a massive bonus.”
“I’ve been so impressed with the guys and how they rode. They were incredible all week and backed me 100%.
“There were points in the meetings where they were given the opportunity to go in breakaways but they were always so happy to commit to the sprint and help me so I can’t thank them enough.”
Sport director David McPartland praised the entire Australian outfit for their contributions to the team’s success.
“It’s been a big week for us,” McPartland said. “We came in with stage wins as a priority and a high overall as a secondary consideration.”
“We ticked the first one with four stages and to come away with the general classification during the process of going for those stages is a credit to all of the guys.
“We have six guys here and every single one of them were an equal part of our success here.”
McPartland also acknowledge the ability of 20-year-old Ewan to stand up under pressure.
“Caleb had a lot of pressure on his shoulders here,” he said. “Everyday we had a meeting it was all about trying to bring everything together for a sprint for him.”
“He performed just about every time, so be able to take that ability to perform under pressure to the next level in Europe is another great step in his development.”
Ewan entered the final day of racing with an eight second advantage over Patrick Bevin (Avanti Racing Team) for the overall title. The short and sharp 65km stage in Seoul offered two intermediate sprint opportunities with bonus seconds that had the potential to spice things up.
The first were taken by a four-rider breakaway, whilst Ewan recovered from a puncture not long before to take the second and end any doubt of the title.
As the eight-day race came to it’s conclusion, the peloton took its position for one last bunch kick. Tino Thomel (RTS-Santic Racing Team) was the surprise final stage winner. Ewan, who has Korean ancestry, settled for fifth.
“It’s obviously a lot different to racing in Europe,” Ewan said of his first experience racing in Korea and first return to the country since he was five-years-old. “Although the teams are of a lower level it’s harder for us to control the race with only six guys because everyone was looking at us to do something.”
“With no mountain stages, every day you were going for the sprint and that adds up over the week to make it pretty stressful but we always had it under control.”
Caleb Ewan – 2015 Professional Victories
1. Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 2
2. Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 3
3. Tour de Langkawi – Stage 3
4. Tour de Langkawi – Stage 6
5. Vuelta a La Rioja
6. Tour de Korea – Stage 2
7. Tour de Korea – Stage 3
8. Tour de Korea – Stage 5
9. Tour de Korea – Stage 7
10. Tour de Korea – General Classification