Caleb Ewan won the national criterium title in Ballarat Wednesday night. The victory gives the 21-year-old bragging rights as the fastest man in Australian cycling. He won his first senior national title by beating Brenton Jones and Anthony Giacoppo.
Ewan was properly paced by his teammates for the majority of the 44km race before he was turned loose for the final sprint to demonstrate the sprinting that enable him to win a stage of the Vuelta á Espana last year. He made enough of an impression on Orica-GreenEDGE team owner Gerry Ryan to have himself designated as the designated sprinter for the team.
The OGE team assumed control of the pack right from the start, fending off constant attacks from other teams. First-year professional Alex Edmondson pulled Ewan right to the finish before Ewan turned on the power. He finished second in the race last year, so his success could not be considered unexpected.
Ewan must now focus on the road race, where he also finished second last year. There is also a time trial beforehand, so there is much to be decided in terms of team strategy, with the time trial perhaps determining which OGE rider, Ewan or Simon Gerrans, will be the recipient of the efforts of the team domestiques in the road race.