Skip to main content

Caleb Ewan quits Tirreno-Adriatico, turns focus to Milan-San Remo

Tirreno Adriatico 2022 - 57th Edition - 4th stage Cascata delle Marmore - Bellante 202 km - 10/03/2022 - Caleb Ewan (AUS - Lotto Soudal) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) early on stage 4 in a day that provided little respite from the climbing during the first 40 kilometres (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) pulled the pin at Tirreno-Adriatico on Thursday as the Australian rider, who had a small crash the previous stage before going on to win, chose not to forge on after finding the going tough during the early climbs of stage 4 in the Appenines.

The race headed upwards from the fourth kilometre, with very little respite from the climbing in the hectic start, where it took more than 20km for the break to form. At around fifty kilometres in to the racing the news came through that Ewan had abandoned.

“He suffered a bit from yesterday's small crash and today's furious start,” said the team on Twitter. “He and the team decided that it was best not to push it and quit the race.”

The crash that the team referred to was on stage 3, about 90km from the finish when Ewan came in contact with an Ineos Grenadiers staff member in the feed zone. Afterwards Ewan quickly returned before going on to take his first stage victory at Tirreno-Adriatico in the slightly uphill sprint finish on the cobblestones of Terni.

The team said at the time that beyond a bike change, the fall had no further consequences. However, after struggling in the opening quarter of stage 4 and with a key season goal so close, Ewan wasn’t taking any chances.

"Caleb will now recover and focus on his final preparations for #MilanoSanremo," said the team on Twitter.

Despite the early exit, the race had already delivered plenty after a victory that showed the form was where it needed to be and the morale boost that came with it.

“It’s a completely different race to what Milan San Remo would be but you do everything you can to get into really good form and you only can tell when you race how good your form is compared to the other guys,” Ewan told reporters after his stage 3 win.  

“I’m really happy with how the season has started so far. I’ve had a few wins now and I feel like I’m climbing quite well and I’m happy that my sprint is also good. I am happy with where I am at.”

Ewan started the 2022 season with an opening stage win at the Saudi Tour this year before a positive COVID-19 test led to an unplanned season break. Still on his return he delivered a stage victory at the Tour du Var before taking second at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, where his sprint coupled with the way he handled the climbs earlier in the race appeared to be a good sign for Milan-San Remo.

Ewan has twice come second at Milan-San Remo. Last year he won the sprint behind late attacker Jasper Stuyven after also managed to hold the wheel of an accelerating Julian Alaphilippe and Wout van Aert on the climb of the Poggio. He pulled the pin early on Tirreno-Adriatico that season too, abandoning on stage 3 in 2021 as he suffered with mild gastroenteritis and didn’t want to jeopardise his participation in the Italian one-day race, which is regularly a key target on his calendar.

The 293km Milan San Remo, where Ewan also came second in 2018, will start at the Vigorelli velodrome on Saturday March 19.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.