Caleb Ewan’s lucky charm

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STIRLING, Australia (CT) – On a cool Wednesday afternoon in the hillside town of Stirling, Ryann Ewan stood on the lush grass of the local footy oval and waited. On her right hip, baby Lily, perched patiently. Around them, riders, team staff, reporters, and all the other assorted hangers-on that make up the 2020 Tour Down Under.

After a few minutes Ryann’s husband rolled into view, members of Lotto Soudal staff jogging protectively on either side. Caleb Ewan had just won stage 2 of the Tour Down Under and he couldn’t wait to celebrate it with his family.

“It’s always so nice,” Ewan said later. “My daughter’s been to three races so far since she’s been alive and I’ve won all three, so I need to keep bringing her. She didn’t come yesterday and then I lost; she came today and I won.

“The first one she came to was the second stage I won at the Tour [de France]. The next race she came to was the Classic the other day. And then this was the third one she came to.”

Standing on the grass in Stirling, the couple kissed twice before Lily Ewan lent in to her beaming father, her right hand pawing at his face. The face of a father as delighted to see his family as he was to win his first UCI race of the year.

It would have to be a quick visit, as these ones often are. The podium beckoned, and with it the flowers and ochre vase of the stage winner, plus the ochre jersey of race leader.

A few minutes later, Ewan stood with reporters dissecting his stage win (commanding), pondering his chances of defending ochre on stage 3’s uphill finish (unlikely), discussing Ewan’s family moment (touching). “Lucky charm” suggested one reporter of Ewan’s daughter.

“She must be,” Ewan said with a smile and a laugh. “I’m going to bring her tomorrow.”

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