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Aussie sprinter Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) has confirmed that he won’t represent the home nation at the upcoming Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.
Rumours of Ewan’s omission from the team started swirling earlier this week but were confirmed on Thursday evening by Ewan himself after winning stage 1 of the Deutschland Tour.
When prompted in his post-race interview about the fact he was climbing well, Ewan said it was down to him working towards racing the Worlds road race in Wollongong; a race that will feature almost 4,000 metres of climbing.
“I was preparing for Worlds so I knew I had to climb quite good,” he said. “Unfortunately I’m not going but still the preparation I had is still there and I’ve proved that I can get over some of the harder terrain.”
Ewan was then prompted further to talk about missing out on Worlds selection.
“Their [AusCycling’s] decision is their decision and it’s true that I haven’t been performing over the last few months,” he said. “I always believe when I have a really big goal like a home world championships that … I was super motivated to get ready and try to win it, but like I said, they have their reasons and I have to respect that. It’s disappointing but I’m still going to use that form to try and end the season well.”
Later on Thursday evening Ewan posted to Instagram with more about his win and his Worlds omission.
“This one felt really good!” Ewan wrote. “Especially after the bad news that I won’t be at my home world championships this year. To be honest I don’t have much to say on the matter other than I’m heartbroken I won’t be there to represent my country and that I believe I deserved to be there. Anyways, sob story over.”
Being left off the Australian team for a home Worlds is just the latest setback for Ewan this season. While the 28-year-old had some success early in the year, he left the Giro d’Italia winless after 11 days having crashed in the sprint on stage 1. He also struggled at the Tour de France, also missing out on a stage win there.
Australia’s teams for its first home worlds in 12 years were due to be announced this week but that announcement was delayed by a week after two riders appealed their non-selection. Caleb Ewan was not one of those riders.
As reported by Ride Media, Ben O’Connor, Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley, Michael Matthews, and veteran road captain Heinrich Haussler are all expected to be part of the elite men’s road race squad.
The 2022 Road World Championships will be held from September 18-25 in Wollongong, New South Wales. The elite men’s road race will be the final event of the championships.