“I decided I wanted to stay in the U23 team for part of next year and ease into the transition a bit more,” said Ewan. “If I went pro next year, it could be too early in terms of development. GreenEDGE has given me a clear path that outlines several smaller steps rather than one big one. When I do turn pro, I’ll be ready.”
“We identified Caleb as an extremely talented rider as evidenced by his results,” said General Manager Shayne Bannan. “We’re excited to be part of his development and growth. His success to date indicates that he’s one of the classiest riders in the next generation of cyclists.”
“We obviously have close ties with Jayco-AIS,” Bannan continued. “We’ve agreed to have Caleb stay with that team next year. He’ll be on pre-contract with ORICA-GreenEDGE as of January 1 2014. He’ll have at least two full years of racing with us, so his contract runs through the end of the 2016 season.”
Ewan excelled in his first year as a U23. The 19-year-old scored eight victories in Europe during the 2013 season. He capped off his impressive year with a fourth place finish in Florence in the road race at the U23 Road World Championships. Although Ewan has emerged as a fast finisher in bunch kicks, his ability to survive short, steep pitches and medium mountains allows him to be more versatile than the pure sprinter.
“I have a great team,” said Ewan. “Everyone gets along so well. We all back each other. That’s been the key to my results this year. Also, I’ve been in Europe for the past three years at this point, so I’m getting more adjusted both to racing and living over there.”
“The two stage wins at Tour de l’Avenir stand out as my best accomplishments,” added Ewan. “My goal this year was to win at least one race and make the team for Tour de l’Avenir and for Worlds. I never expected things to go as well as they did.”
With an established framework to develop young riders and a proven ability to nurture the future stars of the sport, ORICA-GreenEDGE has became a popular place for neo-pros. Ewan will join current teammate Damien Howson and British twins Simon and Adam Yates at ORICA-GreenEDGE. He follows in the footsteps of Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn, both of whom turned professional after riding exclusively for Australian squads as U23 riders.
“This was the obvious place for me to go,” said Ewan. “For a young Australian, it’s the perfect set-up. The team has shown they care about my development, and I’m confident they can provide the sort of support and mentoring I’ll need during my first few years as a professional.”
“I’ll start the year as a U23,” Ewan added. “I’ll target the top U23 races. I hope to make the Commonwealth Games team and do that at start of August. From there, I’ll stagiaire with the team up until the World Championships. I hope to be selected again for Worlds. Maybe I’ll do Tour de l’Avenir again, too. If everything goes as planned, my first World Tour race would be Tour of Beijing.”
Bannan hopes the path the team has worked with Ewan to establish will allow him to continue to flourish. While Ewan’s talents on the bike are on full display for all to enjoy, Bannan is convinced that the way Ewan elects to handle himself off the bike is an additional marker for success at the professional level.
“It’s quite impressive that Caleb conducts himself so professionally at such a young age,” said Bannan. “The way he goes about looking after himself both on and off the bike will serve him well. We’re very happy to work with such a hard-working, naturally talented young man.”