Caleb Ewan will stay at Lotto-Soudal for 2023 despite the team's soon to be confirmed relegation from the WorldTour.
Cycling Weekly understands that the Australian sprinter has expressed no desire to leave the team due to their relegation, and that Ewan has said that he will stay with the squad and honour his contract which runs until the end of 2024.
A spokesperson for Lotto Soudal confirmed to Cycling Weekly that despite the team's situation, Ewan was “not going anywhere”.
“Caleb has said internally to us that he will stay on the team. At the moment we’re planning and discussing his programme and goals for next season, which will continue next week,” the spokesperson said.
Ewan recently signed a new contract which runs until the end of the 2024 season. When asked by Cycling Weekly whether there was a clause allowing him to leave following the team’s relegation, they explained that Ewan like other riders may have wanted to leave, but that the impending relegation “changes nothing”.
“It could change it, but it doesn’t. The potential relegation was an issue for the entire season and something that he [Ewan] was aware of. Although he has always expressed his intention to stay towards us and nothing will change,” they said.
“There is always an option riders want to leave, relegation or not. We have seen this on multiple occasions and teams before. But we have no signals from any riders wanting to leave.
"Caleb extended his contract together with Jasper De Buyst. They will be a hard to beat combination in 2023. For them, nothing changes, next year we will be fighting for victory in the biggest races like we have been the past years," they added.
“We will still be able to ride the Tour, the Giro and Milan San Remo which were Caleb’s biggest goals last season. His sprint train hasn’t changed much, so for him and us things don’t really change. The goals stay the same and the programme will remain the same. There’s no benefit here to anyone taking a different course.”
Meanwhile the team spokesperson explained that Lotto-Soudal are viewing their relegation as “an opportunity to take a step back to then advance further" in the long term, and that Ewan deciding to stay with the team was a huge statement of intent.
They said: “For us to convince all our riders of our project for next season, we had to take some steps and think about ways we could change things for the better and for the good of the team. The fact that for example Caleb says ‘ok I’m committed to this team, they have a plan for me and for the entire team’ just confirms to us that we’re moving in the right direction.”
Froome's team Israel-Premier Tech are expected to join Lotto-Soudal at ProTour level in 2023 after also being relegated.
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