Orica-GreenEdge's approach to Caleb Ewan in his first season as a professional is about building his confidence before heading over to Europe. Three straight Bay Crits wins and second place at the Australian national road race championships had people asking whether the team should have reconsidered its decision to leave him out of the Tour Down Under squad but they firmly backed their plan.
A DNF at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race wasn't the return to racing the 20-year-old anticipated but he bounced back in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour prologue, occupying the hot seat until the fifth last rider, Will Clarke (Drapac) unseated him to claim the win by less than a second.
Stage two of the Sun Tour was marked down for a Ewan win and despite shouldering the burden, Ewan romped to the win a bike length ahead of Steele von Hoff (Kordamentha Australia).
"Yesterday was never going to suit me and the plan was not to get into the front group as I don't think anyone would have wanted to take me to the line so it was good to have our GC guys in front and it was a pretty easy day for me and the other sprinters as well," Ewan said of the previous stage which was won by teammate Cam Meyer. "Today, I had good legs and the plan was to go for the win today."
"A win's a win but they all feel good. It's good to get a UCI win as I am aiming for five or six wins this season with UCI races so to get one on the board now is really good."
With tomorrow's stage finish the exact same as today, Ewan added he is confident of making it two in a row and three straight for GreenEdge.
"After you win one stage, you're confidence lifts a fair bit. I know I can beat all the guys here in a sprint now so going into the next stage I'll be a lot more confident," he added.
When asked what was the emotion when crossing the line, Ewan explained "it was happiness and a lot of relief crossing the line first. It's really stressful the whole day when you know that you have to be up there for the win so to cross the line first is relief I guess."
With the win under his belt, the team's approach of building Ewan's confidence approach looks to be the right one and just as Cam Meyer got the 'ball rolling' yesterday, Ewan is aiming to ensure it gather no moss.
"They are pretty important," he said of wins in Australia. "If you can get a few wins before you even get over to Europe it gives you more confidence throughout the year and takes more pressure off you."