Caleb Ewan: ‘I’m on track to be really good at the Tour de France’
Aussie speedster confident of turning around a season that 'definitely hasn’t gone as good as I’d have hoped.'
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If sprinters thrive on confidence, Caleb Ewan might enjoy a rich harvest at the Tour de France.
Lotto Soudal‘s pocket-rocket sprint star isn’t getting bogged down in a dire run at the Giro d’Italia as he resets his radar for the Tour de France.
“Coming out of the Giro without a win wasn’t ideal, but I knew my form was there,” Ewan told the Eurosport Cycling Show. “I just have to stay focussed on the Tour. I know if I’m in really good shape I can be competitive there.”
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Ewan crashed in a nightmare touch of wheels in the Giro’s Budapest “big start” and slogged out a winless 11 days before pulling the plug to reset for France.
The fruitless two weeks at the Giro put a cap on a spring season Ewan told Eurosport “definitely hasn’t gone as good as I’d have hoped.”
Yet second-place behind archrival Fabio Jakobsen at Elfstedenronde earlier this month and big numbers on the bike computer puts Ewan where he wants to be ahead of the Tour’s opening sprint.
“As a sprinter, you want to win as much as possible, and that’s where you get your confidence from,” Ewan said.
“If you know that you’ve done everything right and you know your numbers are good, that also gives you confidence. It doesn’t solely rely on results. I’m on track to be really good at the Tour. Obviously, you have to bring it all together and I’m confident we can do that there.”
Ewan will face fierce opposition when the first mass gallop unfolds in the second or third stage of the Tour.
Ewan, Jakobsen, Dylan Groenewegen, and Jasper Philipsen are expected to be headline names in a deep sprint field.
Ewan missed his opportunity to score a sixth Tour victory after a crash-curtailed ride through last year’s race. That means the Aussie is more motivated than ever for a summer stretching from the Tour to a home world championships.
“At least a stage win. Everything after that’s a bonus,” Ewan said of his goals for the Tour de France. “If you can walk away with a stage win, then you’ve already done better than probably half the teams there.”
Ewan beat Groenewegen in the hallowed stage 21 Champs-Élysées finish of the 2019 Tour.
A repeat victory on the most prized finishline in pro sprinting would turn around Ewan’s season of disappointment.
“The Champs-Élysées is the one that everyone wants to win,” he said. “You can win there and leave the Tour on an absolute high or, even if you win a couple of stages during the Tour, if the Champs-Élysées goes wrong, you leave with a bitter taste. I’ve experienced both but it’s much better to leave the Tour having won.”