Caleb Ewan has gained recognition in the peloton for his incredible turn of speed in bunch sprints, but the Australian admits it gets pretty scary when he gets into his trademark sprint position.
The 21-year-old causes some amazement with the incredibly low position he gets into when turning on the burners, with his head so far over the handlebars it’s a miracle he doesn’t tip over.
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In this lovely video put together by the Orica-GreenEdge bike sponsor Scott, Ewan explains what spurs him on and what it feels like to be in the middle of a bunch sprint.
There’s never really a moment where I feel I’m going too fast,” Ewan said. “The weirdest sensation is somehow the initial part of the sprint where you’re getting up to speed. You’re already going super-fast but when the sprint is launched you’re going 10 maybe 15km/h faster.
“It’s a pretty surreal sensation, especially now in that position that I go in, it’s pretty scary because you’re so close to the front wheel. Sometimes you’re sprinting at 75kph.
“I didn’t even realize how extreme my position was until somebody filmed a side shot from me. It doesn’t really feel like I’m going that low when sprinting but when I look at it afterwards I’m thinking of what would happen if I hit something in the road.
“I’d probably land straight on my face because I’m so close to the ground and everything happens so quickly. That’s kind of a scary thought but obviously that’s not going through my mind at the time of the race.
“The only thing that is going through my mind is getting to the line first.”
Ewan has reached the line first three times so far this season, all in Australia. In Europe the diminutive Aussie has notched up second-place finishes at the Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour de Yorkshire and Giro d’Italia.