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Caleb Ewan confirms move to Lotto-Soudal from Mitchelton-Scott

Joe Robinson
8 Aug 2018

Young Australian sprinter moves team for better opportunities at Grand Tours

The rumours have been confirmed as Lotto-Soudal officially announce the signing of Caleb Ewan from Mitchelton-Scott on a two-year contract that will take him through to the 2021 season.

The young Australian sprinter will move away from his home team in a bid to win bigger races with a team less focused on riding for General Classification. 

It was long rumoured that Ewan would be jumping ship from Mitchelton-Scott to Lotto-Soudal as the Australian team continued its bid to focus on General Classification talents Esteban Chaves and Yates twins, Simon and Adam.

It then became almost inevitable as the 24-year-old was omitted from the team's Tour de France squad despite being previously told he would race.

At the time, team sports director Matt White commented that the decision to leave Ewan at home was among 'the toughest in the organisation's history' but respected that Ewan was not the right choice to support the team's GC ambitions.

The rider voiced his frustrations via Twitter mentioning that the Tour had been his big goal for the season. Since being left out of the Tour team, Ewan has raced only once, failing to finish the RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

Ewan's move to the Belgian WorldTour team acts as a like-for-like replacement for the departing Andre Greipel, who will be heading to French ProContinental outfit Fortuneo-Samsic.

The Australian will now take up the mantle from Greipel and look to target Grand Tour stage victories as well as certain one-day classics such as Milan-San Remo, which Ewan finished second in this year.

In a press release from Lotto-Soudal, Ewan addressed the change of direction from Mitchelton-Scott and his decision to move teams.

'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,' Ewan said.

'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 the 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.'

The rider then went on to state that he hopes to construct a sprint train at the team to support his ambitions and progress the team towards big results.

Lotto-Soudal team manager Marc Sergeant also commented on the move, mentioning Ewan's similarities to the departing Greipel and his role as a team leader.

'Internally, we have spoken extensively about the era after André Greipel. That moment is now. Once again, we opted for a sprinter with potential, just like we did with André in 2011,' said Sergeant.

'The choice for a sprinter over a GC rider, for example, is twofold. With a sprinter, you have chances for success all year long and the budget to attract and surround a GC rider is significantly higher.

'With Tim Wellens, Tiesj Benoot and Caleb Ewan, we have now three clear leaders for three different types of races. Now it’s a matter of building a team around these riders in order to assist them as best as possible.

'That’s something we are currently working on.'