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Ewan wins Bay Classic cycling opener
Guy Hand
20:12 AEST Tue Jan 1 2013

The teenager rated as the future of Australian cycling is right here, right now.

NSW youngster Caleb Ewan blasted his way to a sensational victory in the opening stage of the Bay Cycling Classic in Geelong on Tuesday evening - backing up his dual victories in last year's event.

The 18-year-old - so highly rated by those at the pointy end of Australian elite cycling - looked to be no chance coming into the last lap of the criterium around Eastern Beach.

He and the rest of the peloton had been seven seconds adrift of breakaway leaders Tom Scully of New Zealand and Jens Mouris of Orica-GreenEDGE.

But Bikebug rider Ewan emerged from the pack to chase down the duo, then pull away with a massive sprint for a comfortable win.

From Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands, Ewan came to public prominence winning two of the four Bay Crits in last year's series and narrowly missing out on winning the overall event.

He finished just one point behind Delhi Commonwealth Games road race gold medallist Allan Davis.

Equally impressive on track and road, he parlayed the Bay Classic success into national junior track titles and seven road wins in Europe, as well as a silver medal in the world junior road championships.

Reduced to a three-stage event for 2013, Ewan believes this year's Bay Classic might suit him even better.

"Last year I was a bit overwhelmed ... the big guys have been racing the Tour de France and I'm just this little guy in juniors," Ewan said.

"Being around them is a bit scary. But after I won the stage, I was a lot more confident with them and they gave me a bit more respect as well.

"From winning last year, I knew I had the ability to beat these guys and I come into the race a bit more confident about myself. It's a lot better, just mentally."

Ewan also rounded off his preparation for the race spending a few days training with Tour De France winner Cadel Evans.

Mouris took second place, with Scully hanging on for third.

Experienced New Zealander Greg Henderson won two of the three sprint legs during the race, with Orica-GreenEDGE's Mitch Docker taking the other.

The second criterium is scheduled for Wednesday in Portarlington, on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula, with the third in Melbourne on Thursday.

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