The Tour is the Tour: Caleb Ewan looks forward to his first Tour de France in 2018Wed 13 Dec 2017
With stage wins in both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana under his belt Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan is looking to carry his winning form into his debut appearance at the iconic Tour de France next July.
Another successful season for ORICA-SCOTT – to be known as Mitchelton-SCOTT in 2018 – saw Ewan rack up 12 victories including stages at both the Tour of Abu Dhabi and the Giro d’Italia coming after a successful start to 2017 with four stage wins at the Santos Tour Down Under.
The 2018 Tour de France will be the 105th edition of the race and covers 3,329kilometres over 21 stages. The first nine stages provide at least six opportunities for the sprinters as the race returns to the Vendee in the Pays de la Loire region that hosted the start of the very first edition back in 1903.
“If there’s any race that you want to do when you’re growing up as an aspiring young cyclist it would be the Tour de France,” said Ewan. “I’ve been itching to get there ever since I turned professional and after winning stages in both the Vuelta a Espana and this year at the Giro d’Italia I feel that now I am ready to make that step up at the Tour de France.”
“It is the biggest race in the world and it would be amazing if I can get a stage win there and continue that progression. I would definitely say that my stage win at the Giro d’Italia in May was my biggest victory of the year it was my second time at the Giro and a very special feeling to get that one after coming close on the earlier stages.”
The Tour de France looms large on every professional’s horizon, but not everyone gets the chance to take part and for those that do it is to be expected that their race program will be adapted accordingly.
“I always look forward to the Australian summer and going hard in my home races and that won't change this year,” continued Ewan. “But afterwards with the Tour de France I will be following a different race program to previous years.”
“I head back to Europe for the spring and after the Classics I will probably get a bit of a break before starting with a big build up towards the Tour de France. The whole thing is really exciting because it will be totally fresh and different to what I am used to.
“Obviously there is a long way to go until July, but the focus will be there throughout as it is something that I have really wanted to take part in for a long time.”
With a total of 26 UCI wins in his three years as a professional 23-year-old Ewan is going from strength to strength and has seen the team evolve into the advanced set up that is today which in Esteban Chaves and Adam and Simon Yates includes three of the worlds hottest GC talents alongside their homegrown sprint star.
“We have so many strengths now as a team,” explained Ewan. “Every race and Grand Tour that we go into we can expect to be up there challenging and the Tour de France will be no different. There is also a lot of versatility within the squad and that means that we have riders who can climb, but also have the speed to lead out in the sprints.”
“It’s really great to be part of a developing sprint train with the success we have been having, it has taken some time but, we have speed and versatility for different types of finishes and we’ve really nailed it at times this year and it also means we can go for it on all kinds of terrain.
“Anyone who has looked at the Tour de France route for 2018 can see that there are six opportunities for the sprinters over the first nine stages, but also a great opportunity to go into yellow on the first day. It won’t be easy and the competition will be strong, but that is something that will give me extra motivation when I’m training and a huge target to aim for.”
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