Caleb Ewan signs for Lotto Soudal

08 August 2018 10:30
Caleb Ewan will leave Mitchelton-Scott and ride for Lotto Soudal next year, with the Belgian team announcing the arrival of the 24-year-old sprinter on an multiple-year deal.  Ewan began his professional career with Mitchelton-Scott in 2014 and has since racked up 28 victories, but his status at the Australian outfit has been compromised by the team's growing general classification focus, with Grand Tour teams largely built around the Yates twins and Esteban Chaves.  "The opportunity to join Lotto Soudal was for me an important and incredibly exciting one. They are a team that has a great history concerning sprinters and classics, I spent many hours as a youngster marveling at Robbie McEwen’s victories. More recently, I can only say I have nothing but enormous respect for Andre Greipel, what he achieved as a rider and what he stood for as a person. But now, together with Lotto Soudal, I hope to write an exciting, new chapter," Ewan said in a statement released by his future team. After winning stages at the Vuelta a España in 2015 and the Giro d'Italia in 2017, Ewan was promised a Tour de France debut in 2018, as announced by the team in December, but he was snubbed late on, with Matt White explaining the decision was 'performance-based'. By that point, Ewan had already been heavily linked with a move to Lotto Soudal. André Greipel had been the team's sprinter and talisman for nearly eight years but he and the management clashed over a new contract and his departure for Fortuneo-Samsic was announced last week. ADVERTISEMENT Ewan has had a relatively quiet 2018 season so far, with only two wins on the board, compared to the seven he'd amassed by this point last year. That said, he has finished in the lower podium positions on no fewer than 10 occasions, including second place at Milan-San Remo. Even if Greipel has won six times this year, the Lotto Soudal management clearly highlighted Ewan, 12 years the German's junior, as their main man for 2019 and beyond.  “I think for me the decision to take this path with Lotto Soudal has been a logical one if you take the emotion out of it, but we have much hard work ahead to make sure it becomes the perfect match. I do feel the path Mitchelton Scott are now on is one not suited to me but I have nothing but appreciation and respect for the riders and entire organisation. I have learnt and experienced so much during the past four years, I have many life-long friends there and I am sincerely grateful to them," Ewan added. “How do I describe myself? As a pure but versatile sprinter who is well suited to slightly uphill finishes. The past few years I have worked a lot on becoming stronger, which allows me to remain a contender during a tough finale. I will continue to work hard on my preparation together with Lotto Soudal and we will aim to be up there in Classics such as Milan-San Remo, amongst others. “Although we have many legends still racing very well, we’re in a transition to a next generation of sprinters at the moment. There are a lot of good young sprinters that I obviously want to be a key part of and to do that I will need to continue to make further progress - with my new teammates. There’s not one team that currently dominates the sprints, but Lotto Soudal possesses both the experience and the desire to again build a very strong team for sprints. Stepping into big shoes Cyclingnews' Analysis You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article

Source: Cycling News