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Ewan, Wiasak take nationals wins, road race to be shortened: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

January 4, 2018

Caleb Ewan wins his third-straight Australian criterium title; Rebecca Wiasak wins 2018 Australian women’s criterium title; Australian road race championships to be shortened; EF Education First begins season with ‘obvious areas of excitement’; Buchanan recovering from fractures after vehicle accident; Memorial ride on Thursday for Jason Lowndes; Video: Peter Sagan – Cycling Motivation: Ready for 2018; Video: Passo del Mortirolo (Mazzo) – Cycling Inspiration & Education

Caleb Ewan wins his third-straight Australian criterium title

by Matt de Neef

BALLARAT, Australia (CT) – Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) has become the first man to win three Australian national criterium titles, the 23-year-old achieving that feat on the streets of Ballarat this evening. In what was his third Nationals crit win in as many years, Ewan comfortably beat Steele Von Hoff (Bennelong-SwissWellness) and Brenton Jones (Delko Marseille) in a bunch sprint on the city-centre circuit.

“It feels good,” Ewan said after claiming his gold medal. “I think that the feeling of winning never really gets old. So it’s good to get the year off to a good start again.”

As in the past two years, Ewan was the beneficiary of a clinical supporting ride from his teammates. As several groups tried to get away over the course of the race, Ewan’s teammmates — particularly Luke Durbridge and neo-pro Lucas Hamilton — controlled the tempo in the main field and kept the escapees in check.

“I think this is the strongest team we’ve had since I’ve turned pro and been racing the elite crits so I was very confident in them,” Ewan said. “It was always going to be hard to beat some of the [larger] teams here … they did it so well and they were so strong.”

Bennelong-SwissWellness (formerly IsoWhey-SwissWellness) were the main aggressors on the day, their large line-up giving them many cards to play. Michael Freiberg, Sam Crome, Chris Harper and Cameron Bayly all got up the road at various times, trying to forge a race-winning breakaway. Pat Lane (Inform), meanwhile, was the race’s most aggressive rider but despite a handful of moves he too was unable to stay clear.

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