Ewan collects silver in first elite national championship

Wed 7 Jan 2015

Recently crowned Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic champion Caleb Ewan has won the silver medal in the elite men’s criterium at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships this evening.

In a race that never really threatened to break apart, Ewan was beaten over the line by Steele von Hoff who took out his second consecutive title.

Ewan entered his first elite national championships with high ambitions, a little disappointed in settling for second.

“I didn’t come here thinking I am a young guy and it would be nice to medal,” the 20-year-old said after the race. “It’s pretty obvious I came with one goal and ambition and that was to win so obviously I am a little bit disappointed to come away with silver but that happens and you can’t win all the time.”

“It was quite fast but the course is surprisingly quite easy to sit in and that’s what I did.  I just sat in there and tried to conserve as much as possible during the race. Leigh (Howard) did a great job of covering all of the moves up the front so it made my job a lot easier.”

With just two representatives in the race, Ewan and ORICA-GreenEDGE were reliant on a few cards to fall their way in order to contest for the victory.

“It really played into our hand the whole race,” sport director Matt Wilson said. “We were really happy with how things went.”

“Leigh did a great job in the last lap to lead out Caleb and drop him off at the right time but Steele Von Hoff was just too fast.”

It was well into the second half of the 40lap, 44km race for any decisive moves were made.

Ben Hill took on the challenge alone with nine laps remaining to establish a gap of eight seconds. Four laps later, Hill was joined by Cameron Bayly before the chasing began from back in the peloton.

Travis Meyer and Michael Rogers bridged the gap with less than two laps remaining but the sprint trains in the peloton began to launch.

“I am a bit surprised that the race didn’t really break up,” Wilson said. 

“There were a few NRS (National Road Series) outfits that had good teams there and I thought were going to be a lot more active in trying to break it up a bit especially because there were a few good sprinter in the field like Caleb, Von Hoff and Sunderland.”