Snubbed Ewan makes a point with French win
Caleb Ewan gave another significant point to Australian cycling selectors who excluded him from their World Championship squad as he took an impressive road win in France.
Ewan, perhaps the world’s fastest road sprinter in his day, was heartbroken at being excluded from the team for the World Championships on his home soil in Wollongong, 80km south of his hometown Sydney.
Yet, just two weeks before the road race, he showed why his omission was so controversial on Sunday with his resounding victory for his Lotto-Soudal team at the Grand Prix de Fourmies, a historic one-day race in northern France. France.
It was the 28-year-old’s second good win in just under three weeks as he has clearly returned to his best form after an unlucky year in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
After his latest victory on the Deutschland Tour last month, Ewan posted a photo of himself on social media, announcing he was banned from the Australian squad.
“This was really good!” he wrote her at that moment. “Especially after the bad news that I won’t be at the home World Cup this year.
“To be honest, I don’t have much to say on the subject other than that I am heartbroken, that I will not be here to represent my country and that I believe I deserve to be there. In any case, the sobbing story is over. “
AusCycling admitted that leaving Ewan, 11-time Grand Tour stage winner, out of his home championships, starting next Sunday, was difficult.
Yet obviously his underwhelming form in 2022, unfavorable course layout and fierce competition for seats ultimately worked against him, despite his marked improvement this year in his climbing skills.
And it was clear on Sunday that he was back in his prime when he passed a field full of top sprinters, with his final lap proving too much even for runner-up Dylan Groenewegen, key sprinter of Australian Team BikeExchange-Jayco.
The race was marked by a serious crash in the final kilometers of the 197.6km run, but Ewan avoided it and was quick to react to Groenewegen’s initial push as he took the lead for his seventh win of the season.
“Already at the start of the race I told the guys that I was having a really good day, so we took over the race and were among the teams controlling the initial breakaway,” said Ewan.
“We were forced to lead the group pretty early, but we always had control and it’s nice to reward the guys with the team’s 25th win of the season.”