Caleb Ewan will begin his comeback from knee pain at the Baloise Belgium Tour as he attempts to stay on course to win a stage at all three Grand Tours this year.
The 26-year-old Australian won two stages at the Giro d’Italia but decided to withdraw on stage eight after suffering from knee pain.
Lotto Soudal’s rider needed to preserve his fitness as he prepares to take a title at the Tour de France, perhaps for a green jersey win, as well as the Vuelta a Espana which kicks off in mid-August.
Bernal exit rumours not true and is happy at Ineos - agent
- Alliance and attacks - How Yates can deny Bernal and win the Giro d'Italia
- 'Yates is on a roll - there's a fragility about Bernal' - Wiggins
- Yates chips away at Bernal's lead with stage 19 solo triumph
The Baloise Belgium Tour runs for five days from June 9 to 13 and Ewan is optimistic about his chances.
Ewan said in a Lotto Soudal statement: “After my abandon at the Giro I was off the bike for a few days but I have resumed training now and everything seems to be going in the right direction.”
“I just hope I didn’t lose too much of my shape because I really needed more race rhythm,” continued Ewan. “That is why I was so disappointed to pull out of the Giro with the ‘maglia ciclamino’ on my shoulders. The plan was to continue for at least another week and trying to reward the team with a third-stage victory.”
Caruso ‘thinking he could win this Giro’ - Wiggins
Lotto Soudal’s general manager John Lelangue was similarly hopeful that a spell in Belgium should prepare his rider well for his Grand Tour attempts.
“The Baloise Belgium Tour is definitely a good race, as a preparation towards the Tour”, he began.
“In 2019, Caleb prepared for the Tour de France via a similar run-up with the ZLM Tour now being the Baloise Belgium Tour.
“If everything falls into place, there should be around seven sprint opportunities where Caleb can go for one or more stage wins.”
- - -
You can watch the Giro d'Italia live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and Eurosport.co.uk. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now. You can also watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free racing on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.
Vuelta a España
‘The downside of having too much money’ – Wiggins on Ineos' muddled Vuelta strategy
Vuelta a España
Blazin’ Saddles: Roglic vs Pogacar vs a fully fit Bernal for the Tour – make it happen