Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits 2019: Race 1, Eastern Gardens, Geelong – preview (men)

Caleb Ewan begins his season in new Lotto Soudal colours

 

JLT Condor's Ian Bibby got off to a flying start with victory in 2017's opening Bay Crits race on the nearby Ritchie Boulevard circuit after two of the race favourites – Bibby's teammate Brenton Jones and Mitchelton's Caleb Ewan – crashed on the final corner. Bibby went on to take the overall title, proving that anything can happen in this high-speed, three-race series.

Ewan has joined Belgian squad Lotto Soudal for 2019, and will be looking to prove to his new team what a great signing he is by opening his account on this opening day, and the Australian sprinter will be hard to bet against after an hour of racing on this 1.92km Eastern Gardens circuit.

Watch out, too, for Katusha 'guest riders' Dylan McKenna and Tom Chapman, who both won the chance to ride with the WorldTour team's Nathan Haas, Marco Haller and Alex Dowsett at the Bay Crits, but will choose how many of the three races they'll take part in.

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