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by Shane Stokes
October 1, 2014
Speaking in the wake of Caleb Ewan’s second silver medal in three years at the world road race championship, Shayne Bannan has said that he is convinced the rider has the mental attributes to match his obvious physical talent, and that a big future is ahead.
Bannan is the general manager of the Orica GreenEdge team. Ewan has been racing there as a stagiaire and will become a fully-fledged pro with the team in January.
“What I have seen so far is a guy who is really mature for his age,” he told CyclingTips, speaking about the 20 year old. “He is a very professional person, he really has a good head on his shoulders. He thinks things through – the processes, the wins and the losses – extremely well.”
Ewan was runner-up in the 2012 junior world championship and, last September, finished fourth in his first year in the world under 23 event.
His first year in the espoir ranks also saw him take eight victories in Europe, with two of those coming in one of the top under 23 events, the Internationale Thüringen-Rundfahrt.
He followed those performances up with a number of good results this season, including a stage win at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, victory in the national under 23 criterium and road race championships, victory on stage two of the Tour de l’Avenir, second on a stage of the Olympia’s Tour and runner-up in the Trofeo Citta di San Vendemiano.
He started the world under 23 championships last week as arguably the biggest favourite, but had to be content with the silver medal after Sven Erik Bystrom (Norway) attacked on the final climb and held on to the line.
Although he didn’t get the rainbow jersey he hoped for, Ewan’s results this year plus his performances while riding as a stagiaire have bolstered Bannan’s faith that he has an exciting talent on board for the team.
“He is going to develop into a very good professional for the future,” he said. “It is going to be pretty exciting for us to work with him in that initial period, to really help him in those first two years.”
Ewan will need to learn the ropes, of course, but with Matt Goss leaving the team, he will likely get opportunities to chase sprint victories in 2015.
Orica GreenEdge will do what it can to help him develop, and new signing Adam Blythe believes he will have a part to play in that.
“There will likely be something with Caleb Ewan,” he told CyclingTips in a recent interview. “He is a young guy, but he is very, very fast. I think it will be good for me to help him and do as good job as I can to help lead him out.
“I have no doubt that he will get a good couple of wins, and hopefully with my help.”