The King of Abu Dhabi

Last Sunday we guessed that Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott), the reigning King of the Sprint, might defend his title in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on 29 January, but we had failed to notice this Cyclingnews article from the beginning of the month, in which Ewan was quoted as follows:

I’ll do Tour Down Under and the Australian Day crit here in Melbourne and after that I’m done here in Australia. I head to Europe first and then to South Africa. I have Abu Dhabi in between. They’re my first goals and hopefully I can get through those alright en route to San Remo.

This means Ewan will certainly ride the Abu Dhabi Tour from 23 to 26 February. But does it also mean he’ll race in Europe first, or will he just train there? And if he rides a European race, which one will it be?

Ewan did contest the Australian Day circuit race today, and, surprisingly, didn’t win. (Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) did.) Criteriums can never be King of the Sprint title races, however, so Ewan still holds the title, and will now take it out of Australia.

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What a week!

What a week for Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) at the Tour Down Under! And what a spectacular way to kick off our brand new King of the Sprint competition! By beating Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Marko Kump (UAE Abu Dhabi) in the Streets of Adelaide, Ewan took a record fourth consecutive King of the Sprint title.

On a side note, Sagan’s third second place in four mass sprint finishes is a record in itself.

What Ewan’s next race will be, hasn’t been officially announced yet, but if he stays in Australia, it might very well be the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on 29 January, which might then become our next (and fifth) title race of the season.