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Ewan wins sprint to take second criterium title

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Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) takes centre stage on the podium

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) takes centre stage on the podium
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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The crowds were out in Ballarat

The crowds were out in Ballarat
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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The chase is on

The chase is on
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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A view from the back of the pack

A view from the back of the pack
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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The circuit was fast

The circuit was fast
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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The break of the race formed after some huge efforts

The break of the race formed after some huge efforts
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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The attack worked well together

The attack worked well together
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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Nathan Earle (UKYO) goes on the attack

Nathan Earle (UKYO) goes on the attack
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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The shadows got longer

The shadows got longer
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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There was party atmosphere roadside

There was party atmosphere roadside
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) shows off his green and gold jersey and his latest trophy

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) shows off his green and gold jersey and his latest trophy
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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All hail Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott)

All hail Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott)
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) after the finish

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) after the finish
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) sprints up the barriers

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) sprints up the barriers
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) celebrates his second Australian criterium title

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) celebrates his second Australian criterium title
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) wins despite some injuries

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) wins despite some injuries
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)
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The men raced at sunset

The men raced at sunset
(Image credit: John Veage / Cycling Australia)

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) lived up to his role as favourite and won the Australian national criterium championship with a powerful sprint finish in Ballarat. It was Orica-Scott's second win of the night after Jessica Allen soloed to victory in the women's race earlier in the night.

A strong break sparked by Nathan Earle almost stayed away but a chase by the Isowhey Sports Swisswellness team saw the race come back together with a lap to go.

Scott Sunderland (Isowhey Sports Swisswellness) finished second ahead of Brenton Jones (JLT Condor).

"Obviously it is pretty hard with the expectation coming in it," said Ewan who won the final day ‘Bay Crits' race on Tuesday after suffering a crash on the opening day of the criterium series. "I think I came in here as the favourite, pretty close favourite because the guys have been sprinting very well so it was always going to be hard but like I said before it was always going to be hard coming in with only two guys to help me but they were probably the two strongest guys in the race fortunately for me. They covered everything perfectly and all I had to do was sit there and relax."

Ewan's teammate Mitch Docker suffered several mechanicals during the race but once he took a lap out, was free to rejoin the action. Along with Damien Howson, Docker played a key role in bringing back the late breakaway on the final lap to set up the 22-year-old for victory.

"I wasn't exactly where I hoped I would be, I got boxed off the wheel in the last corner and I started my sprint as soon as I came out of that corner and had to get my way through the bunch and luckily I got out of the end and could beat Scott. For him coming here with such a strong team, he hasn't done many races with a top team like that but I knew he would be hard to beat if he was in a good position," he added of Sunderland. "I am going to back myself in a race like this, especially with an uphill finish. I feel pretty confidence against a bigger guy like that when we are racing uphill."

Silver was the second medal at the race for Sunderland who claimed bronze in 2015 while for Jones, the JLT Condor man is making a habit of featuring on the podium.

"Consistency always proves the form is there in summer and this year is no different. I think the last four years with two thirds and second, this year I am pretty content,” Jones said of his previous medals. It's hard without teammates and for Isowhey to have 12 guys and guys like Steele [von Hoff], Scott Law, myself trying to box on to find the back of their train, coming out of the last corner in not ideal position I found a strong sprint and it was a photo for third as well. Happy to make the podium and hopefully it's a good sign for this year."

While a sprint finish is largely the expected outcome after 40 laps of racing on the Sturt St circuit, there was an aggressive start to the start that featured attacks from Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe) and Chris Hamilton who was one of several riders waiting on 2017 team kit and race in all black attire. With moves starting and dying simultaneously, Earle was the man who enjoyed the twilight sunshine from lap 18 as he steadily built an advantage over the peloton who were content to let him ride. An eight-man group formed on lap 28 when Earle was joined at the head of the race as IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness swelled to the front of the peloton.

Earle took the sprint points on lap 30 to seal the jersey and a giant Mars Bars from the race sponsors, but the break then started to break up despite Sam Spokes willing hi companions on. The attacks continued at the front of the race as the gap conned to fall. With two laps to go, Travis Meyer tried jumping off the front before he hangs up his wheels to pursue a career as a mortgage broker.

As the bell was run, the peloton was within four seconds of the break and quickly consumed them as Isowhey set up Sunderland and Jesse Kerrison for the win but it was Ewan who reigned supreme for his third green and gold jersey on Sturt St.

"Coming back here, I can't remember how many times I have raced on this course before, I have done well from getting a lead out and also from coming behind," Ewan added of his victory "I think when I got boxed off the wheel in the last corner I didn't panic too much. If I didn't have the confidence, I might have panicked and waited too late for my sprint. I knew I had to go straight away when I came out of the corner to get to the front and I did that and that obviously comes with confidence."

VIDEO Day 1 highlights the 2017 MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat #aussiecycling @visitballarat pic.twitter.com/fdHb31agH9

Full Results

#Rider Name (Team)Result
1Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott)1:00:58
2Scott Sunderland (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
3Brenton Jones (JLT-Condor)
4Steele Von Hoff
5Jesse Kerrison (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
6Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe)
7Cameron Ivory (GPM Stulz)
8Benjamin Hill
9Joshua Taylor (NSWIS)
10Scott Law (Cylance Pro Cycling)
11Samuel Spokes0:00:03
12Anthony Giacoppo (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
13Joel Walsh (GPM Stulz)
14Liam White (Drapac Pats Veg)0:00:05
15Stuart Shaw (NSWIS)
16Oliver Kent-Spark (Drapac Pats Veg)
17Aaron Watts
18Russell Gill
19Matt Howlett (Orica-Scott)
20Todd Satchell (Satalyst Verve Racing)0:00:09
21Troy Herfoss
22Nathan Earle0:00:15
23Tom Robinson (NSWIS)
24Sam Crome (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)0:00:20
25Aden Reynolds (Mobius Future Racing)
26Dominik Dudkiewicz0:00:22
27Brendan J Cole
28Mitch Docker (Orica-Scott)
29Alex Wohler (NSWIS)
30Neil van der Ploeg (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
31Cameron Roberts (GPM Stulz)0:00:32
32Dylan Newbery
33Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb)
34James Cummings0:00:34
35Matthias Kiernan0:00:38
36Allan Satchell0:00:41
37Patrick Lane (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)0:00:46
38Evan Hull0:00:51
39Jack Sutton (Oliver's Racing)0:01:04
40Damien Howson (Orica-Scott)0:01:07
41Jeremy Cameron (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)0:01:11
42Nicholas Katsonis (Drapac Pats Veg)0:01:13
43Travis Meyer0:01:29
DNFCameron Bayly (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
DNFNathan Booth (Pnx)
DNFPeter Dunlop
DNFNathan Elliott (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
DNFJesse Featonby (Drapac Pats Veg)
DNFRylee Field (GPM Stulz)
DNFRay Forbes
DNFMichael Freiberg
DNFLachlan Glasspool (Oliver's Racing)
DNFChris Harper (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
DNFLiam Hill
DNFRobbie Hucker (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)
DNFNicholas Leonard
DNFAdam Lloyd
DNFKarl Michelin-Beard (Oliver's Racing)
DNFReece Robinson (GPM Stulz)
DNFJarrod Coveney
DNFRyan Miller (OVR)
DNSCallan Douglas
DNSSimon Gerrans (Orica-Scott)
DNSGregory Hogan
DNSSamuel Volkers

Jayco Sprint Competition
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Earle5
2Jay MCcarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe)3
3Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott)2
4Scott Sunderland (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)2
5Samuel Spokes2
6Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb)1
7Brenton Jones (JLT-Condor)1
8Jeremy Cameron (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness p/b Cervelo)1

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