Caleb Ewan says he is determined to start 2018 with a bang after confirming his early season race program in and around Australia.

The 23-year-old Sydneysider will defend his criterium title at the Road National Championships in Ballarat between January 3-7, and also line up in the road race.

He will then head to the Tour Down Under in Adelaide from January 16-21, before taking part in the Race Melbourne on January 25 as part of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Sprint star Ewan claimed 13 victories in 2017 – including six in Australia – and is keen to give his home fans something to cheer about again.

“I’m very motivated to do well in my home races,” he said.

“There’s probably only three stages that really suit sprinters in the 2018 Tour Down Under, and then there may be a fourth depending on how it is raced.

“This year, the sprint field is a lot better than it’s been in the past two years so it’s definitely going to be challenging.

“The Race Melbourne is a super aggressive race, the attacks come fast and furious and as such are harder to control,” Ewan added. “I’m really looking forward to it – I like to start every year in winning form before we depart Australia and head back to Europe.”