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Ewan targets home world road championships with eyes on Birmingham

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Roger Vaughan / AAP News

 

Australian cycling star Caleb Ewan has plans for a big 2022 season including a possible Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign following the world road championships in Wollongong.

 

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games alumni Caleb Ewan could put his hand up for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games selection, following a focus on the home world road championships.

The 27-year-old sprint ace would be one of the biggest names at the September 18-25 worlds in Wollongong, New South Wales.

It is not far from Moss Vale, southwest of Sydney, where he grew up and developed his love of cycling.

The elite men’s road race at the Wollongong worlds is a massive goal for Ewan, but he has made no secret of his disappointment at what is known about the course.

Some of the course profile was made public late last year and it clearly will not be one purely for the fast men.

Ewan was uneasy when asked if event organisers should have had him in mind – or event sought his opinion – when designing the course.

“If I was speaking to them and they were listening to me, then we wouldn’t be having the course that we have,” Ewan said.

“But obviously they can’t really take a rider’s input. It would be very biased.

“If we are racing in Australia and we have an Australian who can win on a certain course, then it would be a smart idea to make the course suit the Australian. (But) I don’t think it’s really the Australian way.

“I did hear that the UCI wanted a sprint. Wollongong didn’t want a sprint, because it would suit an Australian, so I’m a bit disappointed in that.”

Nevertheless, Ewan feels he is gaining strength on the climbs and that means he can still be a big threat in Wollongong.

“I will prove them wrong anyway and I will try to win anyway,” he said.

“But it’s not too hard – I can definitely do it – but it’s not going to be as straightforward as if it was a bit a bit easier.

“I’m up for the challenge and if there’s a sprinter who can do it, I think it’s me.

“I have (more) motivation than anyone else, so I wil be ready. And hopefully win.”

Ewan revealed he might also make himself available for the August 7 Commonwealth Games race in Birmingham, where again he would be a major drawcard.

He has a busy season, with the March 19 Milan-San Remo classic his first key rendezvous.

Then comes the May Giro d’Italia and the July Tour de France, where he will target more stage wins.

Ewan was aiming for the rare feat of stage wins in all three Grand Tours last year, but that was dashed when he crashed out of the Tour de France early.

He then had an extended recovery from surgery to repair his badly broken collarbone.

Ewan doubts he will start a season again aiming to win stages at the Giro, Tour and then the Vuelta a Espana – but admits it’s still a dream.

“It really puts a lot of stress on the season … (but) it’s still something I’d like to do in my career,” he said.

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