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Caleb Ewan abandons Giro d'Italia

Team LottoSoudal rider Australias Caleb Ewan celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the seventh stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 181 km between Notaresco and Termoli on May 14 2021 Photo by Dario BELINGHERI AFP Photo by DARIO BELINGHERIAFP via Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) has abandoned the Giro d'Italia. The Australian, who won two stages during the opening week left the race mid-way through stage 8. 

Ewan won stages 5 and 7 of the race and was leading the points classification as a result. He always planned to leave the Giro d'Italia before the finish in Milan on May 30 with plans to win stages in all three of cyclings Grand Tours this year. However, after a frantic start to stage 8, the 26-year-old has left the race. His Lotto Soudal team took to social media to state that their rider was suffering with knee pain.

After winning stage 7 Ewan admitted that his focus was already dialed in towards goals later in the year. 

"My goal remains the same for this year, and I need to do what's best in preparation for the Tour. Unfortunately, sprinters' legs don't recover in the same way that any other riders do, and if I finished the Giro now I would be dying for the next few months."

"This year so far has been very tough with the weather and a lot of guys legs are hurting a lot. I have to make sure I don't go so deep because if you do, it's hard to start again in the next Tour."

It took well over an hour for the day's break to form on stage 8 with several splits and attacks before Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R Citroën), Nikias Arndt (Team DSM), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa), and Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos) moved clear.

There had been a crash in a tunnel but according to early reports Ewan had been dropped before the incident occurred. 

Click here for complete live coverage from stage 8.

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