Caleb Ewan withdrew from the Vuelta a Espana part way through stage 10 on Monday. The Orica-GreenEdge neo-pro has been feeling fatigued and the decision has been made not to push him too far in his debut Grand Tour.
Ewan is the latest drop-out from an ever-depleting sprint line-up, following Peter Sagan and Nacer Bouhanni, who were both forced to leave the race due to crashes on stage 8.
For the 21-year-old, the Vuelta has already been an unmitigated success and has seen him claim a breakthrough victory on stage 5. After what has been an impressive neo-pro season to date, it was a first win at WorldTour level, in a Grand Tour, and the first time he has got the better of one of the leading lights of the sprinting world.
Whether or not the plan was always for Ewan to leave the race at this juncture, it was always going to be the case that he would bow out somewhere before Madrid.
"This was probably the last stage I could go for because I’m not planning on going through the whole tour," he said after his stage win.