Caleb Ewan at the start of stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia 2021.

Caleb Ewan leaves the Giro d’Italia midway through stage 8

Ewan had won two stages of the Giro prior to his abandonment.

by José Been

photography by Cor Vos

Caleb Ewan left the Giro d’Italia citing knee pain. The Australian sprinter abandoned the race in the maglia ciclamino, the points jersey. Lotto-Soudal stated it was not the plan for Ewan to leave the race this early but rather on day ten or eleven.

“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,” Ewan said after stage 7. “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.”

Ewan won two stages in this year’s Giro d’Italia adding to his three from 2017 and 2019. He expressed the intention to start all three Grand Tours this year to win a stage at each of them. Ewan has already won five Tour de France stages, five Giro d’Italia stages, and one Vuelta a España stage. Stage 10 finishes with a flat run-in to Foligno and would be the last opportunity for Ewan to win another stage at this years Giro.

The remaining Lotto Soudal team is packed with stage hunters including two time Giro d’Italia stage winner Thomas De Gendt and 2016 Giro stage winner Roger Kluge along with Jasper De Buyst, Kobe Goossens, Tomasz Marczynski, Stefano Oldani, and Harm Vanhoucke. At the time of Ewan’s abandonment from the race, Goossens was enjoying a day out in the breakaway.

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