Cycling: Caleb Ewan to miss Tour de France after team switch

Cycling: Caleb Ewan to miss Tour de France after team switch
  • PublishedDecember 9, 2023

Australian cycling star Caleb Ewan has put his Tour de France ambitions on the backburner as he looks to reignite his career after a difficult last two years.

The five-time Tour stage winner won’t compete in the 2024 event as part of a deal struck on his return to team Jayco-AlUla (formerly known as Orica-GreenEDGE).

Ewan, 29, has reunited with the Australian professional team where he began his career following a five-year stint at Lotto-Dstny.

He endured a rocky two-year period with the Belgian team and failed to win a grand tour stage and said a return to an English-speaking environment where he will join forces with star sprinters Dylan Groenewegen and Michael Matthews was an appealing prospect.

“I’ve had a pretty average two years by my standards, I didn’t really achieve what I wanted to,” Ewan said.

Australian star Caleb Ewan has left Lotto-Soudal after five years to return to Australian team Jayco-AIUIa in a bid to reignite his career. Picture: Dario Belingheri / Getty Images

Australian star Caleb Ewan has left Lotto-Soudal after five years to return to Australian team Jayco-AIUIa in a bid to reignite his career. Picture: Dario Belingheri / Getty Images

“I feel like I’m coming home by returning to the Jayco set-up … if my career is to come back on track, I think they’re definitely the team I can do it with.

“I grew up in the national team here, in state teams and stuff … everything, even just jelling with teammates, is a bit easier in an English-speaking environment and where there is more of that Australian mentality towards competing.”

Joining Dutch star Groenewegen on the team means Ewan has to accept not competing in the same races, with the Australian to focus on the Giro d’Italia next year and leave the Tour to last year’s third stage winner.

Ewan had contested five consecutive Tours since 2019 but was unable to finish in both 2021 and 2023 due to injuries.

The Sydney-born sprinter, who is living and training in Noosa ahead of the Australian racing season, said the arrangement would feel like a weight off his shoulders as he tries to find consistency over the next 12 months.

“If (Groenewegen) is winning, it’s good for me, and if I’m winning, it’s good for him,” he said.

“Michael (Matthews) and I could definitely work together because the sprints he would go for are different to the sprints I would go for, whereas Dylan and I are the same type of sprinter.

“That’s when you probably get some rivalry in the team, but I think they’ve made sure they won’t do that, and it’s kind of pointless having two guys going for the same thing on the same stage. it’s better to diversify your team more and have guys who can get results on all the different stages.

“I’ll do the Giro instead, but then for 2025 we can reassess and if it looks like it will suit me, then I’m sure there will be an opportunity.”

Matthews (fourth) and Ewan (sixth) were both narrowly beaten in a bunch sprint at the Cadel Evans Road Race in January, and Ewan is looking to the 2024 race along with the Tour Down Under as his opportunity to set up a strong season.

“I need to make a strong start with nationals, the Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Road Race,” he said.

“Cadel’s is definitely, especially as a world tour race, it’s definitely one I’ve got my eye on to win, and I’ve been close a couple of times as well, and I just haven’t managed to pull it off.”

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race elite men’s race is on January 28 after the elite women’s race on Saturday, January 27.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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