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Caleb Ewan confirmed for Tour Down Under

Australian sprint ace Caleb Ewan is a confirmed starter at the Santos Tour Down Under as he tries to put a luckless 2022 season behind him.

Caleb Ewan will ride in a composite team in the Tour Down Under. Photo: AAP/Dan Peled

Caleb Ewan will ride in a composite team in the Tour Down Under. Photo: AAP/Dan Peled

The Tour de France and Giro d’Italia stage winner has also won nine stages at the Adelaide event, traditionally a bountiful early-season race for the fast men.

While his Lotto-Dstny team have lost their World Tour status, he will ride at the January 14-22 race as a member of the composite Australian national lineup.

Since the Tour Down Under started in 1999, it has featured a national team as well as top international line-ups as a way to give emerging domestic riders top-level experience.

The national team also has featured local stars such as Ewan who otherwise would not have gained a start in Australian cycling’s flagship annual race.

World Tour relegation capped a tough season for Ewan, who had eight wins for the year – but none in the Tour de France or Giro.

He crashed during the Giro and also needed shoulder surgery immediately after the Tour, which meant he had to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games road race team.

Ewan then was a controversial omission from the Australian team for the Wollongong world road championships.

His Lotto-Dstny teammate Jarrad Dsrizners will also ride in the national team, alongside Commonwealth Games team pursuit medallists Conor Leahy, Graeme Frislie and James Moriarty.

Zac Marriage and Liam Walsh from top domestic team BridgeLane will complete the lineup.

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The national team for the women’s Tour Down Under will include reigning national road race champion Nicole Frain, Rachel Neylan and Josie Talbot.

Development riders Alli Anderson, Haylee Fuller, and Anya Louw will complete their team.

Also on Tuesday, local team BikeExchange-Jayco announced an all-Australian lineup for the women’s Tour.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Georgia Baker and fellow Olympian Alex Manly will headline the team, which also features Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Jess Allen and debutants Georgie Howe and Amber Pate.

-AAP

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