Caleb Ewan has finished two times second at Milano-Sanremo. A tricky rider to predict, but at his very best level La Primavera could fall for the 'Pocket Rocket'. In 2023 he doesn't start as the sole leader of Lotto Dstny, but he believes both he and Arnaud De Lie stand a chance of performing.
"Numbers are key. In that scenario, I can't bring everyone back and also be good enough to win the sprint. Hopefully, Arnaud De Lie and I can survive, and we have one more teammate. That way, we can reduce the risk of a late break. But that's easier said than done," Ewan says ahead of the first monument of the season, planning on how to deal with the finale.
PREVIEW | Milano-Sanremo 2023 - Pogacar, van Aert, van der Poel and Alaphilippe headline expected epic battle at Poggio
Ewan is a rider that struggles on the long climbs, but his explosive power has on occasions seen him fly up the Poggio di Sanremo. He's hoping to have a similar performance this afternoon in order to be within a shot of the win. He did not participate in 2022 but has seen how the race played out closely, analysing Tadej Pogacar: "For me, he used the wrong tactics there. They neutralised the race by going full throttle on the Cipressa. That's why the run-in to the Poggio was much calmer. Everyone who was still there at the bottom also got over the top."
"If you don't attack on the Cipressa, you go to the Poggio with a bigger group at a much higher intensity, and you can make the selection there. If I was in his shoes, I'd wait until the Poggio before attacking," Ewan says. Although, this would not be an ideal scenario for the Australian, who will rely on a sprint to be able to finish within the best, or possibly take the win at long last.
He won't be the only card for Lotto Dstny however, as he's joined by Arnaud De Lie. The 20-year old has proven himself among the very best this year after a very promising 2022, and his climbing abilities are something which hold a lot of wondering for tomorrow.
"I think we are the two sprinters who have the biggest chance of surviving the Poggio," Ewan believes. "The most important thing is that we can communicate openly with each other. We have the advantage of having two. But I don't want to reveal too much about our tactics."
"I think Tadej Pogacar is the only one who, when the going is very fast, can leave a gap to Poggio" - Tom Pidcock
"In that case, I will have to try to follow him and take those corners with no fear. I'm a good descender, I think. Good enough to follow, but not to make the difference myself," he concluded.
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