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Michael Hepburn and Caleb Ewan (Australia) during a wet men's road race
Australian excited for Orica-GreenEdge debut
Caleb Ewan was one of only two Australian riders to make it to the finish line on Sunday's road race at the Commonwealth Games. Australia did almost all of the work on the front but for little reward. Despite this, Ewan says that the team didn't get their tactics wrong.
"It's cycling really and you have some good days and not so good days," said Ewan. "There was only the guy up the road and if we could get that gap down a bit closer and if Mark [Renshaw] and Simon [Clarke] didn't have mechanicals at such bad times they would have been there as well. So I don't think it made much difference."
At 20, Ewan was making his senior debut in the Australian team at the Commonwealth Games. The team were putting their efforts behind the youngster in the hope that they would be able to bring it back to a sprint. It didn't work out that way, the rain and the pace reducing the field to a shadow of the number that had set off at 12 O'clock.
Ewan tried to bridge the gap to the three leaders but, after a lap and a half of chasing, it proved beyond him. The efforts came back to bite him and he was the last rider to cross the line, over 11 minutes behind the winner.
"It's my first Commonwealth Games, so I wanted to finish… I think, all together, it was probably one of the hardest races I've done," Ewan explained. "The conditions themselves weren't so hard. I think just the quality of the field and the course as well. Even if you're sitting on it's not just cruising on in the wheel it's always stop start through the corners and the steep uphills."
Ewan will be making another debut next Sunday. The Australian will compete for WorldTour team Orica-GreenEdge for the first time at RideLondon. He has had a pre-contractual agreement with the team since the beginning of the season. Ewan will ride as a stagiaire for the remainder of the year and will become a fully fledged rider in January.