Caleb Ewan (Australia) celebrates as he crosses the finish line on stage 1 of the Tour de l'Avenir
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Australian joins WorldTour ranks
Caleb Ewan will join the WorldTour ranks with Orica-GreenEdge having signed a contract with the Australian team lasting until the end of 2016. The deal which has been in negotiation for a number of weeks now will have Ewan on pre-contract with GreenEdge from the start of 2014 with both parties aiming for Ewan to make his WorldTour debut as a stagiaire in August of next year. Ewan will hold off joining the team officially until October of 2014 so that he is eligible to race the U23 World Championships where he hopes to better his fourth place finish from this year.
"I decided I wanted to stay in the U23 team for part of next year and ease into the transition a bit more," said Ewan. "If I went pro next year, it could be too early in terms of development. GreenEdge has given me a clear path that outlines several smaller steps rather than one big one. When I do turn pro, I'll be ready."
Less than two years ago Ewan signalled his talent at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic where he twice embarrassed the GreenEdge team that were hunting so desperately for their first win.
"We identified Caleb as an extremely talented rider as evidenced by his results," said GreeneEdge Manager Shayne Bannan. "We're excited to be part of his development and growth. His success to date indicates that he's one of the classiest riders in the next generation of cyclists."
This season Ewan has won seven races, including two stages at both the Tour de l’Avenir and the Internationale Thüringen-Rundfahrt U23. Ewan has attributed much of his success to his teammates at the GreenEdge feeder team.
"I have a great team," said Ewan. "Everyone gets along so well. We all back each other. That's been the key to my results this year. Also, I've been in Europe for the past three years at this point, so I'm getting more adjusted both to racing and living over there.
"The two stage wins at Tour de l'Avenir stand out as my best accomplishments," added Ewan. "My goal this year was to win at least one race and make the team for Tour de l'Avenir and for Worlds. I never expected things to go as well as they did."
Ewan joins three other neo-pros GreenEdge in 2014 with current teammate Damien Howson as well as Simon and Adam Yates all joining as well.
"This was the obvious place for me to go," said Ewan. "For a young Australian, it's the perfect set-up. The team has shown they care about my development, and I'm confident they can provide the sort of support and mentoring I'll need during my first few years as a professional."
"I'll start the year as a U23," Ewan added. "I'll target the top U23 races. I hope to make the Commonwealth Games team and do that at start of August. From there, I'll stagiaire with the team up until the World Championships. I hope to be selected again for Worlds. Maybe I'll do Tour de l'Avenir again, too. If everything goes as planned, my first World Tour race would be Tour of Beijing."
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