Neo-pro Caleb Ewan will lead Orica-GreenEdge on its Tour de Korea debut with the team fully focused on stage wins. Ewan has already won five stages in his first year as a professional and is looking for further success in his mother's country of birth.
"I haven't been to Korea since I was about five-years-old so I'm excited to come back and race. The main priority for me is stage wins. It would be nice to be up there for a good general classification but I'll need to see how I'm feeling," Ewan said.
Ewan started his winning ways in 2015 at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour with two stage wins before heading to the Tour de Langkawi where he also won two stages. His latest victory coming on Spanish soil at the Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja in April. The 20-year-old was most recently up against the two in-form sprinters of the season in Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff, finishing second to both riders at the Tour of Turkey and Tour of Norway respectively, and will start the race as the sprinter to beat.
"First and foremost our goals centre around stage wins," sport director David McPartland said. "We have several options for this with our sprinter Caleb but also with some guys that can win from a break if needed. Caleb has been going well and is settling into his first season win a WorldTour team well. He has a great team around him in Korea and I expect him to continue his development into a world class sprinter."
McPartland added that despite being the only WorldTour team in the race, he is expecting eight fast and aggressive days in the saddle for his riders.
"Typically, any race is Asia tends to be raced very aggressively and I don’t expect this race to be any different," McPartland said."We go with a team that are motivated to be racing in Korea so that will suit us."
Joining Ewan are several riders who are quickly becoming his sprint train in Adam Blythe and Mitch Docker, while Michael Hepburn lines up having finished the Giro d'Italia last week.
Orica-GreenEdge for the Tour de Korea: Adam Blythe, Mitch Docker, Caleb Ewan, Michael Hepburn, Leigh Howard and Jens Mouris.