While Jay Vine was winning on the climbs of La Vuelta, another Aussie rider was sprinting to victory in Germany… but, Caleb Ewan explained after stage one of the Deutschland Tour that he will not be part of the Australian team for the worlds in Wollongong.
The Australian team selection for the world championships was meant to be announced earlier this week but has been delayed because of appeals from a couple of riders. What has become clear after stage one of the Deutschland Tour, however, is that Caleb Ewan – the winner in Meiningen – will not be racing for Australia in Wollongong… and that he is not one of the riders appealing the selection decision.
“It’s pretty sweet after a few average months,” Ewan told Seb Piquet in the post-stage interview in Germany. “I still believe that I could win and my team never lost faith in me. So, I’m happy I can repay them after not winning for a few months.”
Ewan’s victory was a dominant one, achieved in the typical style we have come to expect. Fast, efficient and better than others when there’s a bunch sprint, Ewan says he is in good form but he also respects that the national selectors don’t believe the final event of the 2022 world championships will come down to a sprint. Or, even if it does, the thinking seems to be that Ewan wouldn’t be in contention for the victory in Wollongong.
After his win, Ewan explained that he is not one of the eight riders for the Australian team for the elite men’s road race who are expected to be named in the coming days.
“I was preparing for the worlds so I knew I had to climb quite good… unfortunately I’m not going but still, the preparation that I had is still there and I think I proved that I can get over some of the climbs.”
Piquet noted the comment and asked if it was certain that Ewan wouldn’t be part of the Australian team for the world championships and the stage winner confirmed that was indeed the case.
“Their decision is their decision. It’s true that I haven’t been performing the last few months, but I always believe that when I have a really big goal – like the home world championships…”
He didn’t elaborate, but it is clear that Ewan still believes he could be in with a chance, despite the worlds course including almost 4,000 metres of climbing for the 266.9km race that concludes the championships in Wollongong.
“I was super motivated to try and 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.”
– By Rob Arnold