Caleb Ewan says he hopes all sprinters took something from the crash at the Tour of Poland that put Fabio Jakobsen in a coma.
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step has thankfully now been brought around by doctors who are still working to understand the full scale of the Dutchman’s injuries. Meanwhile, Caleb Ewan has shed some light on the dangers of being a sprinter and how the fast men of the peloton need to have respect for one another.
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“Bunch sprints are always dangerous and the road’s only so wide,” the Australian says at Lotto-Soudal’s hotel before the start of Milan – San Remo. “Sprinters obviously need to have respect for each other because at the end of the day we’re all trying to win and, in a way, we’re all in it together.
“We don’t want to harm each other and with moving lines and everything, we all do it. We’ve all done it before.
“But there’s a point where you can try to prop a rider a little bit…but you know there’s a point where if I keep going this rider is going to end up in the barrier.
“Riders just need to have respect for each other. If someone’s clearly coming around you can’t just keep pushing them into a barrier. I hope all the sprinters took something from what happened there. It’s super dangerous what we do and we don’t need to make it any more dangerous than it already is.”
Ewan says every sprinter knows what’s safe and what’s not: “I think you know when you’re doing something really dangerous. And that’s when you back out or stop doing what you’re doing and you’re pretty aware of what you’re doing.”
Ewan, only 26, has a young child at home in Monaco and says when he saw footage of the crash that was understandably where his mind went.
“If that was me, it’s kind of a scary thought,” he said of being a professional bike rider with a young family waiting back at home. “As I said, what we do is so dangerous and you probably do think about it more if you have a family of your own.
“I think it’s always worrying for family members. Obviously, for my wife, it’s probably very scary for her but also my parents, who are on the other side of the world. If something happened to me…I think it’s pretty worrying for them.
“But you have to kind of take it out of your mind because if you’re always thinking about that then that’s when your sprinting career could be over.”
For Ewan, his sprinting career continues at Milan – San Remo, where he provides an alternative to Philippe Gilbert should the race come down to a bunch sprint.
The Tour de France Champs-Élysées stage winner is motivated for what he says is the only Monument he can realistically win and is looking forward to testing himself against good friend Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) as well as Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), with the likes of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) also taking the start line.