The Orica-Scott rider took the opening win of the British tour in Kelso on Sunday, just edging across the finishing line in first place, his eighth victory of 2017.
At 23, Australian Ewan is just six weeks older than Quick-Step Floors‘ Gaviria, with the pair heralded as the future superstars of sprinting. At the Giro d’Italia in May, Gaviria won four stages and Ewan one, both beating established sprinters such as André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).
In races where both have competed, Gaviria has won eight times to Ewan’s three, and while the latter accepts that the Colombian is likely to be his principal rival in the next decade, he believes it is important that people don’t become too fixated at just focusing on them both.
“Fernando is one who will stick with me for the rest of my career and it’s always nice to get one up on him,” Ewan told Cycling Weekly. “But it’s not just a battle between him and me: there are a lot of good sprinters coming up, a lot of young guys sprinting really well, and that’s exciting for the future of sprinting.
What’s coming up at the Tour of Britain
“It’s always nice to win and not just against him [Gaviria]. He is a guy who will be with me my whole career as he is the same age as me, but to get one up on Cav or Greipel is just as nice.
“Dylan [Groenewegen] has had a few good results in the past couple of years and is definitely one to watch. Sky have just signed Chris Lawless who is a good sprinter and definitely one of the guys coming through.”
Four of the remaining six stages of this year’s Tour of Britain are expected to end in bunch sprints, representing more opportunities for Ewan and Gaviria alike.
For Ewan, it is his last major target of the season as he will not be racing the World Championships in Bergen, Norway, later this month; his former trade team-mate Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) will be leading the Australian team.
“At the moment, Michael [is the leader] and I won’t be going to the Worlds,” he confirmed. “They have made it pretty clear that they want one leader there.
“The course would suit Michael a little more than it does me so it’s only fair for him that they take a team to back him 100 percent.”
On stage hunting this week, he said: “It’s always good to start the year well and to end the year well to set you up for next season. This is my last real big goal of the season.
“I will be trying to get as many stage wins as I can. A few more would be great, but if not it’s good that I have got one already.”