Ewan aims for the first pink jersey on a delicate opening stage

Australian sprint star Caleb Ewan will be hoping to wear the famous race leader’s pink jersey for the first time with a victory in the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia.

On the eve of the start of the race in Budapest, the sprint king revealed that he is aiming for stage wins not only at the Giro but also at the Tour de France and Vuelta Espana this season.

Ewan set out to achieve the same rare Grand Tour treble last year after winning two stages at the Giro, but ended up missing out after breaking his collarbone in a crash on stage three of the Tour.

The 27-year-old hasn’t given up hope of the once-in-a-lifetime honor and admitted he’ll go all-in for the one-year hat-trick if he can pick up early wins in Italy and France .

The Lotto-Soudal sprint ace is very optimistic about his Giro prospects, saying: “I don’t know if I’m in the best shape of my career, but I feel really good.”

He even has the rare chance to take the race leader’s pink jersey – the coveted Maglia Rosa – on the opening 195km stage from Budapest to Visegrad, with Hungary honored to host the Grande Partenza in outside of Italy.

“It’s quite difficult but easier than I thought,” said improving climber Ewan, after recovering the final uphill stretch.

“It’s another five kilometers uphill so quite difficult but I have nothing to lose. I wouldn’t say it’s a golden opportunity – in general it’s probably too hard for me – but it’s not is not impossible.

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“I’m going to try to win. Either I’ll have the legs to do it or I won’t – it’s quite simple.”

Ewan enters Stage 1 of the Giro with five race wins already this season and is in great shape heading into the first Grand Tour race of the year.

However, there will be plenty of star talent looking to get the better of the Australian with British great Mark Cavendish, Frenchman Arnaud Demare and Colombian Fernando Gaviria all lining up for sprint honours.

“I consider myself one of the fastest men in the peloton, but you still have to beat the guys here,” said Ewan, who has won nine Grand Tour stages.

“If I’m the best sprinter here and only win one stage, then I’ll probably be disappointed.

“I wasn’t aiming to (win at the three grand tours this year) but maybe if I can win a stage at the Giro and the Tour I can start thinking about maybe going to the Vuelta.

“It’s not really on my mind at the moment. The World Championship is something I’m aiming for, so it will be a bit more about the best preparation for that.

“If we think the Vuelta is going to be a good preparation for the world championships, maybe we’ll go for it.”

One thing is certain. Ewan says he will definitely not finish the Giro and may well retire before the final week to save himself for the Tour.

“The two Tours de France I’ve finished, I haven’t been good for the rest of the season after that, so I think it would be a mistake to finish the Giro and then continue on the Tour,” he said. he declared.

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