The hapless Australian Tour de France star has been forced to withdraw after yet another crash that spells a miserable season.
Fatigue comes after a tough phase in the Alps with the Caps battling through a tough season
Australia’s cycling sprint star Caleb Ewan has yet again to abandon the Tour de France, exhausted and beaten by yet another brutal race.
The marquee Lotto-Destiny rider battled bravely on Thursday to complete what he felt was one of the toughest stages of his career, declaring after being helped home by team-mate Jasper de Baist: ‘Today sucked but we made it. .’
Yet his relief was short-lived, as he quickly came off the back on Friday’s ill-fated stage 13 and was forced to withdraw in obvious discomfort, clutching his stomach, before the front peloton had even begun climbing the dreaded Grand Colombier.
‘It’s a real shame to leave the tour. I want to express my gratitude to the team for their great support and I hope they can still show some good things at the next stage,’ the 29-year-old told the team’s website after his latest disappointment with his star man.
Last year, the man who won five Tour de France stages that year won the ‘Lantern Rouge’ in Paris as the 134th and last finisher at the end of a Tour where he suffered two crashes, injuries, bad luck and missed opportunities.
Ewan smiles as he crosses the finish line to finish second in stage four of the Tour de France
His luck ran out on stage 13, involving a crash that forced him to withdraw from the Tour de France.
In 2021, it was even worse as he crashed out of the race late in the third stage with a broken collarbone.
This year, he achieved two podium places – third on the third stage and runner-up the following day – but continued his trend of only near-misses in what he felt was one of the worst seasons of his distinguished career.
Belgian team Lotto-Destiny said in a statement: ‘After several days of battling fatigue, he (Ewan) fought hard but was unable to continue.’
Team director Stéphane Hulot told SBS Sport: ‘It’s been a very difficult day, he’s not been in good form or in a good frame of mind since yesterday and today.
‘It was hard for him, hard for us. As we saw right after the last sprint it would be difficult for him to continue the race for long.
‘We see the start of the season for Caleb like this tour, it’s sad.
‘Yesterday he said to give up. We tried to motivate him, but I think it was a leg problem.’