Ewan hungry for more at Tour of Britain sprinting feast

The 2017 edition of the Tour of Britain is a veritable sprinting feast and, with six of the eight stages almost certain to culminate in a bunch gallop – and the possibility of a seventh – there's plenty to go round the many top-class sprinters gathered at the table.

Not that Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) is in the mood for sharing. The young Australian claimed his second victory of the race on stage 3, moving back into the overall lead. After something of a breakthrough at February's Abu Dhabi Tour, in terms of beating riders from the very top tier, he now seems to be doing just that with consistency, and he wants 'as many stages as possible' before the week is out.

In that sense, a race so dense in sprint opportunities throws up a peculiar challenge.

"When there's a stage that I can go for, in any tour, there's obviously more pressure, so having sprint after sprint, day after day, you always have that pressure on you," Ewan explained in his winner's press conference in Scunthorpe.

"Sometimes it's nice to have a mountain stage where you can kind of… not so much physically relax but more mentally relax. The TT is the only stage here where I can fully mentally relax. But it's good I guess. When you miss out on one sprint or stuff something up, there's always plenty more chances to come."

In a field that contains Fernando Gaviria, Mark Cavendish, Elia Viviani, Alexander Kristoff, Edvald Boasson, Hagen, and Dylan Groenewegen, Ewan would surely have signed for two victories from this race as a whole. Perhaps an added challenge now is staying hungry, and approaching the remaining stages as if his week wasn't already a success.

He doesn't see it that way, however, and feels his wins only tip the balance further in his favour and away from those still waiting.

"It's kind of a more relaxed atmosphere in the team and the way they ride when we already have two stages now. If we were on stage six or seven and still hadn't had a win, then obviously the pressure is really on to get a result. So now after two wins, we're a lot more confident and in sprinting confidence is key," he said.

"For me personally, and for the team as well, we will never get complacent, because we want to try and win as much as possible."

The Tour of Britain continues on Wednesday with another largely flat stage to Newark-on-Trent, followed on Thursday by a 16km time trial in Essex, where Ewan's overall lead will almost certainly come to an end.

"Not at all," he replied when asked if he could time trial well enough for stage-win bonus seconds to put him in the mix for the overall. "Even if I won the rest of the stages, and had a minute advantage over a guy like Dowsett or Tony Martin, there's no way I can time trial within a minute of those guys."

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Patrick Fletcher
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.