Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) returns to racing on Sunday as he takes part in the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg. Ewan won the race in 2016 when on the Mitchelton-Scott roster and he returns looking for his first victory since claiming three stage wins at the Tour de France in July.
Ewan raced the RideLondon Classic in early August but failed to finish. Hamburg will be his first race since London before he then turns his attention to the Deutschland Tour next week. Ewan's victory in Hamburg in 2016 came after Nacer Bouhanni was relegated after the Frenchman was found guilty of deviating from his sprinting line.
"The Hamburg Classic is a big race. Like in most races where I have the opportunity to win, I really want to go for the victory. But it is hard to tell where my shape is if you haven't raced for a while. I'm hoping that I can still use my Tour form, because it is more about maintaining than adding new shape. If my form is good, it is a race that really suits me because it is quite hard at the end, with the local laps and the steep climbs.
"As there aren't too many Classics that end in a sprint – especially in the second part of the season – a lot of the sprinters will want their team to control. The finishing straight is always quite fast and technical. It is a kind of finish where it is hard to move back up, so you need to be in good position relatively early. Getting your timing right will be crucial. We have quite a good team and I also have Roger alongside me. Hopefully, I can be competitive and get to the finish in pretty good position, so I can contest the win," Ewan said in a press release issued by his team.
"I will need to wait and see how the legs feel on Sunday and hope it's good, so I can carry it in the Tour of Germany. There will be some sprint opportunities there, so I hope I can contest those. It has been a long season, I also had never done an entire Grand Tour before, so I'm just hoping for the good legs to get some nice results."
Ewan admitted that his post-Tour training regime had been altered due to the birth of his son.
"I was quite tired after the Tour, and I also came home to our baby, which did not really favour the recovery. It has been a challenge to adjust to dad life and I'm still getting used to that, because you're not sleeping so good but you still need to train. So I think my recovery from the Tour has been good, but not perfect," Ewan said in a press release issued by his team.
Ewan will be supported by a strong Lotto Soudal squad that includes lead-out rider Roger Kluge. The full line up comprises of Stan Dewulf, Nikolas Maes, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, Lawrence Naesen, Kluge and Ewan.