Adam Blythe's return to the WorldTour this year was not completely for himself, but to guide team Orica-GreenEdge's young Australian Caleb Ewan to sprint wins.
After a run in top teams Lotto and BMC Racing, the 25-year-old Brit sat out a year and raced with British continental team NFTO in 2014. In those 12 months, he won races like the British Circuit Race Championships and the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
Blythe raced in E3 Harelbeke in Belgium on Friday. "If you want to do well in these cobbled races, it's better to race Tirreno-Adriatico or Paris-Nice, but that's not why I'm on the team," Blythe told Cycling Weekly ahead of the race.
"I like working for Caleb, he's a good little guy and a fast guy. We are getting results with him. That's one of the reasons the team signed me, to help him, and so I want to do my job."
Blythe led the 20-year-old to two stage wins in the Tour de Langkawi. After some time apart, they will team up for the Tour of Turkey to sprint and help Adam Yates to a second consecutive overall win.
The Australian team put Blythe in its cobbled team for E3 Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem and the Three Days of De Panne because it was short on numbers, and may do the same for Paris-Roubaix.
Ewan, who just joined the professional ranks in 2015, raced the Volta a Catalunya and suffered.
"Yeah, it was good in Langkawi working with a lead-out train and getting the win, it was really good for morale," Ewan said. "And then I come here [Catalonia] and destroy my morale!
“When we looked at the parcours it looked like the first two stages were maybe sprints, but they turned out to be harder than we thought and I'm having a hard time adjusting to the weather difference. I'm looking forward to Turkey though."
Before stepping down to NFTO, Blythe won for himself in Binche-Tournai-Binche and helped Philippe Gilbert in other races with BMC. With Orica, on a two-year contract through 2016, he must help Ewan through the European races.
"I'm here to help Caleb, help him learn, help him sprint and help him win. He needs to learn the ropes of sprinting and get used to it,” added Blythe.
"He could win a sprint on his own in under 23 races, but now, in the WorldTour races with big lead-out trains everywhere, I don't think he's used to riding around with a lead-out in front of him. He just has to learn to have confidence in the team and to be a leader.
"Langkawi was good for him, but it wasn't a huge field, but to go to Turkey with a few of the big teams, maybe [Mark] Cavendish will go again, that will be the aim to get a couple of wins with Caleb and help Yates.
"It'll be good if I can do a good job for him. If I do that and guide him, we'll both progress.”
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