Caleb Ewan is the latest in a long line of sprinting sensations to come out of Australia, so it might surprise you that his toughest day on a bike came on a stage with only two climbs, and a flat first 125km.

Riding in his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España, Ewan had already delivered more than what was expected of him by winning stage five, beating John Degenkolb and Peter Sagan into second and third place respectively.

But on stage nine, while team-mate Esteban Chaves was fighting to hold on to his race lead in the face of attacks from Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin, Ewan was dropped midway on the 168km stage between Torrevieja and Cumbre del Sol.

The Australian then had a big fight on his hands to avoid being eliminated from the race, eventually finishing in 180th place, more than 21 minutes behind stage winner Dumoulin.

After such an effort, it was no surprise that Ewan abandoned the following day, with the team making the decision not to put their young star through any more tough racing, especially at the end of a long first season in the pro ranks.

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