Around the final 90-degree right-hander 600m the line, the 20-year-old was in fine position locked onto the wheel of his final lead-out man. With a brief look over his shoulder at around 300m to go, he launched his sprint - too early - and was swarmed by a group of more experienced sprinters. He finished 10th on the stage, which was won by Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp). Chalk it down to inexperience.
Back at the GreenEdge car, he was consoled by teammates but his disappointment was clear.
"I had a perfect lead out from the guys," he said afterwards. "I just went a little bit too early and 50m from the line I just ran out of legs and got jumped."
Ewan praised his teammates for the work done over the picturesque 176km stage through the Yan Mountains.
"It was a pretty tough stage but I felt like I had good legs," he said. "The roads here are quite fast and the guys kept me out of trouble all day, so I felt pretty strong."
It’s the second time at the Tour of Beijing that the youngster has been within a whisker of claiming his maiden win. On stage 1 he finished second to Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) in Zhangjiakou.
Reflecting on his first Tour with the Orica-GreenEdge squad, Ewan said: "I’m pretty happy with it, but it’s still disappointing because I got a perfect lead-out and the other day I came pretty close to winning.
"It’s a little bit disappointing to be so close, but my time will come I’m sure."
Ewan will likely get another shot on stage 5 from Tiananmen Square to the Bird’s Nest Stadium.