Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel are two of world cycling’s fastest sprinters on the road.
Just the mention of their names is enough to intimidate any rival as winners of stages throughout the world, including the Tour de France.
Not Caleb Ewan though.
Ewan is ready for whatever is thrown up in the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, even if it is mixing it with Greipel and Kittel.
The 19-year-old is planning to get the best result possible. “I want to show I can be a good tour rider.”
Ewan, from New South Wales, secured a berth in the tour by winning the under-23 men’s road race at the MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships at Buninyong on Saturday.
He completed a national title double by sprinting to the line ahead of an aggressive Robert Power, with Bardley Linfield third.
They completed the 132.6km in three hours, 23 minutes, 21 seconds as part of a group of six which hit the line together.
The top 10 finished within nine seconds of each other, with Ararat’s Tom Hamilton (a former Ballarat Clarendon College student) sixth.
Ewan also won the under-23 men’s criterium title in Ballarat on Thursday night.
Ewan is best known for his sprinting, but believes he is more than that and he is eager to show he is an all-rounder.
He took a step towards that at Buninyong, where climbing was essential to remain in contention.
He said he rode conservatively during the race to conserve as much energy as possible.
Ewan said with climbing not natural to him, it had been important to ride conservatively.
He still did not get it easy towards the end.
“The last time up that climb, I was cramping the whole way.
“It was quite aggressive on the last climb.
“I was able to cover all the moves and I knew if I covered all the moves and I got to the finish with the whole bunch, that I would have a good shot of winning the kick.
“That’s what I tried to do and that’s how it worked out in the end. Just to get here in the end and win is such a relief,” Ewan said.
Although the favourite for the road race and subject to being a marked man, Ewan said he was still able to find more freedom than he thought he might get owing to doubt over his climbing ability and the fact he was without teammates.