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Working as one of Caleb Ewan’s key leadout men after both were given pro contracts with the Orica GreenEdge team over the winter months, Adam Blythe has said that the 20 year old Australian has made a strong impression on him thus far.
The British rider helped Ewan to stage wins on days three and six in the Tour de Langkawi plus the points classification.
“He has won four races already and I think he is in only his second race of the year. So yeah, he is doing well,” Blythe told CyclingTips at the race.
“He is mature for his age. He is always looking for something extra to gain. That’s good and I think he’s just looking around and always observing things he can learn from.
“I am impressed in him – he is very mature for his age. He is going to be something special, I think.”
Given that Ewan is so young and still has plenty to learn in term of experience, Blythe feels all pointers indicate a strong future.
“I think it can be very good,” he said. “These races are good for him to start with, but I think it is sort of a different sort of level when he gets to WorldTour.
“He will get more of an idea then. But,” he added, “for sure he is going to be super good.”
Now 25 years of age, Blythe turned pro with Omega Pharma-Lotto in 2010 and won the Circuit Franco-Belge in his debut season. After two seasons there he was part of the BMC Racing Team in 2012 and 2013, but parted ways with the latter during his second season.
He was left without a team but eventually got a contract with the small British squad NFTO. He rode solidly and secured the attention of the Orica GreenEdge team when he won the 1.HC RideLondon-Surrey Classic in August.
He said that things are going well thus far with the Australian squad.
“It has been going good. I started in Qatar and Oman and that went well. I am here now helping Caleb and it seems to be working well.
“My form is not too bad at the moment. I would like to have a bit more form but it is difficult with the [lack of] racing and I really can’t do much about it. I am happy with where I am, but am still looking for more.”
Given his work in Ewan’s leadout, Blythe said that he will join the Australian at times in the months ahead but will also have his own programme to ride.
“Turkey will be my next race with him, so it will be good to do that. But I have got a few Classics, Gent-Wevelgem and things [like that] which I don’t think he will be doing.
“I will get stuck into those races and be a good helper and then move on to the next section of the season.”
Given that he has taken important victories in the past, he has proven that he too knows how to chase solid results. Will he get a chance to have his own personal ambitions this season?
“I think so,” he answered. “I think there will be the odd race where I can hopefully go for it myself. We will see. The season has only just started, I am only on my third race, it is still March. So I will keep going for it, I will keep working hard and hopefully I will get something.”
One of the races he’d clearly like to do well in is the British road race championships. He won the circuit race title in 2014 but netting the road victory would be huge for his career.
Going up against the Sky team plus some of the other squads will be difficult due to their strength in numbers, but he said he’ll so what he can to chase a medal.
“It is definitely a target. I would like to go well in nationals this year. It is around the Lincoln course which will be hard for sure, but yeah, I will definitely have a go.”