Much of the cycling world first heard about Caleb at this time last year when he won two stages (stage 2 and 4) of the Bay Crits when he surprised everyone by upstaging a hungry GreenEDGE in a much more competitive field than this year. Since then he’s continued with some great results on the track and came 2nd in the Junior World Road Championships in the Netherlands. All eyes were on him this week and he showed that last year was no fluke.
The media (including myself) is going nuts about Caleb but I’m glad to see his coach Brad McGee and Cycling Australia being cautiously optimistic and conservative about Caleb’s development. Although Caleb is now officially in his first senior year, he can technically start the TdU with UniSA-Australia team. However, selectors have decided to sit him out and continue with their policy of overlooking first year seniors in the team. Kevin Tabotta (CA performance director) told the Herald Sun, “Up until December 31, Caleb Ewan was still a junior and we’ve been reluctant to select riders going into their first (senior) year,” “He would only be three weeks into his first season and (would be) going into a WorldTour race with a quality field and five-day competition.” A one hour criterium is much different than than a four hour road stage at the World Tour level and I agree that throwing Caleb in the deep end of professional cycling three weeks into his senior year would be taking things far too fast.
Ewan has been labeled as a sprinter and that’s how we’ve seen him win all these big races, but the truth is that there’s still lots to be discovered about his strength and weaknesses and his development is still an blank canvass. Speaking with Caleb, he doesn’t even reckon he’s a sprinter, he says he’s more of a climber!
What I find even more impressive about Caleb Ewan over and above his physical abilities, is his maturity and humbleness. To get a feel for his personality, have a look at Jane Albury’s interview with him earlier this week:
In episode 2 of The Bike Lane, I interviewed a few professional riders and his coach Brad McGee about their thoughts on how far Caleb will go and what type of rider he’ll turn into. That will be posted next week…
JAYCO HERALD SUN TOUR BEGINS
Now our attention turns to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour where the 4.7km prologue was held last evening in Williamstown. Former junior track champion at only 20yrs of age, Jordan Kerby (Suzuki-Bontrager) surprised everyone by winning the opening stage with a time of 5:25:01 seconds and wears the leader’s yellow jersey. New Zealander Joe Cooper (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) was second in 5:26.48 and former rower David Kelly (Total Rush-Hyster) was third in 5:28.69.
Organisers have pushed today’s stage early from 11:30am to 9:30am as the temperature is forecasted to reach 41C. Stage 1 will be headed from Sunbury to Bendigo over 148kms and will likely be split to shreds as it immediately climbs over the steep side of Mount Macedon and the hot crosswinds will be blowing a gale. It should be an exciting finish as the riders will enter the Bendigo velodrome in a Paris-Roubaix style finale.
See full details of Stage 1 here.
BAY CRITS STAGE 3 HIGHLIGHTS
Stage 3 Results: Nelson Place, Williamstown
Elite Men’s STAGE Results
|1||Mitchell Docker||Orica GreenEDGE||12|
|2||Harry Carpenter||Team SASI||10|
|3||Greg Henderson||Degani Bakery Café||8|
|4||Shaun Mccarthy||Team Budget Forklifts||7|
Elite Men’s GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Results
|2||Greg Henderson||Degani Bakery Café||14|
|3||Mitchell Docker||Orica GreenEDGE||12|
|4||Jen Mouris||Orica GreenEDGE||12|
|5||Graham Briggs||GBR National Team||12|
|6||Luke Durbridge||Orica GreenEDGE||12|
|7||Harry Carpenter||Team SASI||10|
|8||Kristian House||Rapha Condor JLT||10|
|9||Leigh Howard||Orica GreenEDGE||10|
|10||Shaun Mccarthy||Team Budget Forklifts|
Elite Women’s STAGE Results
|1||Melissa Hoskins||Orica – AIS||12|
|2||Peta Mullens||Anytime Fitness Trek||10|
|3||Kimberly Wells||Specialized Securitor||8|
|5||Emily Collins||Wiggle Honda||7|
Elite Women’s GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Results
|1||Melissa Hoskins||Orica – AIS||32|
|2||Peta Mullens||Anytime Fitness Trek||23|
|3||Kimberly Wells||Specialized Securitor||20|