Caleb Ewan is the man to beat in Tour Down Under sprints as big names opt out

21-year-old Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan is the favourite for the Tour Down Under's sprint stages as Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and André Greipel start their season elsewhere

Caleb Ewan wins the 2016 Australian Criterium Championship

(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Burgeoning fast-man Caleb Ewan has not underestimated his competition at the Tour Down Under despite the noted absence of ‘big name’ internationals at this year’s race.

Ewan fronted the media at a pre-race press conference on Saturday as the sprinter to beat with heavyweights André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) opting to start their respective seasons later abroad.

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Sophie Smith is an Australian journalist, broadcaster and author of Pain & Privilege: Inside Le Tour. She follows the WorldTour circuit, working for British, Australian and US press, and has covered 10 Tours de France.