The unlucky Australian Tour de France star was forced to retire after another crash underscores a miserable season
- Arrives after a tough stage in the Alps
- had been struggling with fatigue
- Close a difficult season
Australian road racing star Caleb Ewan has once again had to pull out of the Tour de France, fatigued and battered by the brutal race yet again.
The outstanding Lotto-Dstny rider fought valiantly to beat the time limit on Thursday in what he felt had been one of the most difficult stages of his career, declaring after being helped home by teammate Jasper de Buyst: ” Today sucked but we did it.” .’
His relief was short-lived, however, as he quickly went out the back on the ill-fated stage 13 on Friday and was forced to retire in obvious discomfort, clutching his abdomen, before the front pack began the climb of the dreaded Grand Columbian.
‘Leaving the Tour is a real shame. I want to express my gratitude to the team for their great support and I hope they can still show some good things in the coming stages,” the 29-year-old told the team’s website after his latest disappointment of a miserable season by his star banners. .
Last year, the man who had five Tour de France stage victories over the years won the ‘Lanterne Rouge’ as the 134th and final finisher in Paris at the end of a Tour in which he had suffered two falls, injuries , bad luck and failed. opportunities.
Ewan winces as he crosses the finish line to finish in second place during the fourth stage of the Tour de France.
His luck ran out in the 13th stage, involved in a crash that forced him to withdraw from the Tour de France
In 2021, it was much worse as he crashed out of the race with a broken collarbone at the end of the third stage.
This year, he had won two podium places, third on stage three and runner-up the following day, but only continued the trend of near misses in what he felt had been one of the worst seasons of his distinguished career.
Belgian team Lotto-Dstny said in a statement: “After fighting fatigue for several days, He (Ewan) fought hard but it just wasn’t possible to continue.”
Team principal Stephan Heulot told SBS Sport: “It was a very difficult day, as yesterday and today I was not in good shape and I was not in a good mentality.”
“It was difficult for him, difficult for us. Right after the last sprint we saw that it would be difficult for him to stay in the race for long.
‘We can see the start of Caleb’s season being a bit the same as this Tour, it’s a shame.
‘Yesterday he talked about giving up. We tried to motivate him, but I guess it was a leg problem.