Caleb Ewan targets sprints at Tour of Britain

Australian leads Orica-Bike Exchange squad for testing stage race

Caleb Ewan will lead the Orica-Bike Exchange team at the Tour of Britain, targeting success in the sprint stages.

Ewan is still only 22 but has shown his sprinting talent by winning several sprints this season, including two stages at the Tour Down Under and the recent EuroEyes Cyclassics WorldTour race in Hamburg after Nacer Bouhanni was relegated for dangerous riding. Ewan also sprinted well at the Giro d'Italia and Tour de Pologne.

With Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) Elia Viviani (Team Sky), Wouter Wippert (Cannondale-Drapac) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) all set to ride the Tour of Britain, Ewan will face some serious competition in the sprints. The race starts in Glasgow on Saturday and ends in London on September 11.

Orica-BikeExchange returns to the Tour of Britain four years after their first and only appearance, when they took a stage victory and fourth place on the general classification with Leigh Howard.

"We have a good team to support Ewan. We have a pretty young sprint team but all the guys are in good form so hopefully we can come away with a stage win. It's just going to be a big challenge with the high level of competition on the start list for this tour," explained sport director Matt Wilson.

Lead-out man Luka Mezgec, along with two silver Rio Olympic medallists in the team pursuit, Alex Edmondson and Michael Hepburn, provide the sprint support for Ewan. Edmondson and Hepburn will help out in the lead-outs, using their speed from the track after winning a silver medal in the team pursuit at the Rio Olympics.

The Tour of Britain race route includes several rolling stages and a time trial but should offer several chances to the sprinters. Two stages include over 3000m of climbing, while the final stage in London is the only guaranteed sprint finish.

"It is by no means going to be a straight forward tour," Wilson pointed out. "There can quite often be bad weather, stressful roads and there are a lot of competitive sprinters going. I expect there will be a lot of bunch sprints and for that we have a fast team to support Ewan."

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