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Giro d'Italia

Caleb Ewan quits Giro d’Italia to focus on Tour de France

The Australian speedster struggled in the sprints at the Giro d'Italia after crashing on day one.

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COLORNO, Italy (VN) — Caleb Ewan quit the Giro d’Italia and will not start stage 12.

The Lotto Soudal rider announced before the start of the race that he would not finish and intended to leave before the big mountains really kicked in. Instead, he will now turn his focus to the Tour de France in July.

Thursday’s stage from Parma to Genova was unlikely to be a day for Ewan with a series of category three climbs, the last of which is quite steep. Friday’s stage from San Remo to Cuneo could have been an opportunity for a win but it is not straightforward, while the high mountains return for the weekend.

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“Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan will not be at the start of stage twelve of the Giro, raced between Parma and Genova,” a statement from Lotto Soudal said. “As initially planned, the Australian will leave the Giro during the second week of racing. With plenty of mountain stages coming up, together with the team it was decided that Ewan will be heading home.

“Following a short period of rest, the sprinter will build up towards his next big goal of the season, the Tour de France, where he will also be targeting victories in the sprint stages.”

Ewan came into the Giro d’Italia as one of the top favorites for sprint victories, but the Australian has struggled since the opening days. He crashed in the final meters of stage 1 after clipping Biniam Girmay’s back wheel in the sprint for the line.

After finding himself out of position in a number of bunch sprints, the closest he came to victory was on stage 6 when he was edged out by Arnaud Démare in a photo finish. He was put into difficulty on the lumpy stage 10 and finished last some 31 minutes behind the first group., but contested the stage 11 sprint and finished fifth.

Despite Ewan’s struggles, Lotto Soudal has taken a stage win in this Giro d’Italia with Thomas de Gendt grabbing the victory from a breakaway on stage 8. Breakaways will now be the team’s main target with no GC riders on the team.