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Ewan sends warning to Tour Down Under rivals with Schwalbe Classic win

It was the perfect way for Ewan to begin the new season after a breakout 2019 campaign that yielded five Grand Tour stage wins for his Belgian squad.

“I started this season with a bit of pressure to replicate what I did last year or try to grow my wins on top of that,” Ewan said. “This was my first race of the season, usually I’ve done some races before, but I felt really good out there. I was pretty relaxed for the first half sitting down the back and when I needed to go I got up into position and that was it.”

It was Ewan’s fourth Schwalbe Classic win in five years as Italian star Elia Viviani and his Cofidis teammate Simone Consonni filled out the podium.

Only Slovakian legend Peter Sagan has managed to dethrone Ewan on the Adelaide street circuit in that time.

Rain fell before and during Sunday evening’s race and Ewan’s triumph had its tricky moments.

“I think it was the last six or seven laps when it started to rain a little bit and that made it a lot more nervous in the bunch,” Ewan said.

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Caleb Ewan on his way to victory in Sunday's Schwalbe Classic ahead of the Tour Down Under.

Caleb Ewan on his way to victory in Sunday’s Schwalbe Classic ahead of the Tour Down Under.Credit:AAP

“We were in a great position and my team did a great job to help me stay up the front there because there was a lot of fighting for position.

“Roger (Kluge) left that gap for me in the final straight there and that gave me a really good launching pad.”

Ewan’s fourth Schwalbe Classic win moved him clear of German veteran Andre Greipel (three) on the race’s honour roll.

Ewan will be looking to claim his second Tour Down Under sprint jersey – and perhaps overall honours for the first time – when Australia’s biggest bike race begins on Tuesday.

AAP

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