Confirmed by his Lotto-Soudal team, Ewan always intended to pull out before the big mountain stages started to come thick and fast. Part of that plan also involved him picking up some wins, though, which ultimately never came to fruition, with the 27-year-old calling the race the 'Giro from hell'.
The decision means that Ewan won't take to the start line of stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia 2022 route, a 204km ride from Parma to Genova. He will now start to prepare for the Tour de France, where he will hope for a much stronger showing in a couple of months time.
A Lotto-Soudal statement (opens in new tab) said: “Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan will not be at the start of stage twelve of the Giro, raced between Parma and Genova. As initially planned, the Australian will leave the Giro during the second week of racing. With plenty of mountain stages coming up, together with the team it was decided that Ewan will be heading home.
🇮🇹 #Giro@CalebEwan will not be at the start of stage twelve of the Giro. As initially planned, the Australian will leave the Giro during the second week of racing. With plenty of mountain stages coming up, together with the team it was decided that Ewan will be heading home. pic.twitter.com/LyqduJS5dRMay 19, 2022
“Following a short period of rest, the sprinter will build up towards his next big goal of the season, the Tour de France, where he will also be targeting victories in the sprint stages.”
The Australian started the 2022 Giro d'Italia looking to add to his five stage career wins at the Grand Tour, and perhaps even lead the points jersey at some stage, too.
Instead, Ewan endured a tumultuous period at the Giro, leading him to call it the 'Giro from hell' on Instagram. This came after stage ten, where he finished dead last and 31 minutes and 18 seconds behind winner Biniam Girmay, compounding the misery he faced in four previous races up until that point.
Stage 11 seemed like the last roll of the dice for Ewan to take a victory, but he could only manage fifth-place on the run to the line as he called time on his racing at the Italian Grand Tour this year.
His decision to leave early isn't new though. Ewan has competed in five Giros and never finished any, choosing to chase early sprint stage wins before withdrawing to enable optimal Tour de France preparation.
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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