Australian sprint sensation Caleb Ewan will return to the Santos Tour Down Under in 2018.
The ORICA-Scott rider will make his fourth appearance at Australia’s only multi-day UCI WorldTour event after dominating the sprint classification in 2017.
Previously racing for the UniSA national team on debut in 2014, the six-time stage winner and dual People’s Choice Credit Union Classic champion is the latest rider to be a confirmed starter in the 20th edition of the Tour.
Having won last year’s red sprinters’ jersey, Ewan is hopeful of defending his crown, though believes the 2018 Santos Tour Stages are less favorable for his style of racing.
“Being an Australian and obviously racing here, I am motivated to do well in my home race,” Ewan said.
“I think there are probably only three stages that really suit sprinters in next year’s Santos Tour Down Under… there may be a fourth depending on how it is raced.
“Obviously I would like to repeat what I did this year, but it is going to be hard to win four stages and the People’s Choice Credit Union Classic!”
Ewan is the third rider to confirm his return to Adelaide in 2018, following Triple UCI World Road champion Peter Sagan and two-time Santos Tour Down Under winner André Greipel who will also hit the South Australian roads in January.
South Australian Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell expects the announcement of Ewan’s return to be particularly popular with local fans.
“We know the fans may cheer a little louder for this Aussie sprint talent as he competes against his international rivals on home soil,” he said.
“With current UCI World Road Champion Peter Sagan and two-time Santos Tour Down Under overall winner André Greipel already confirmed to race, the latest addition [of] Caleb Ewan is setting the scene for some tough racing.”
The announcement of Ewan’s return caps five big weeks for the Santos Tour Down Under, which was just named the South Australia’s best major event or festival at the state’s tourism industry awards on Friday.