Caleb Ewan has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia during Stage 8 on Saturday after having recorded two wins at the race.
The 26-year-old Australian sprinter headed up the sprinting rankings after two stage wins, but his involvement in the race has now been brought to a close.
Ewan had already admitted that he was unlikely to compete for long in the Giro as he attempted to stay fresh to challenge for sprint victories in stages at the season’s remaining Grand Tours, the Tour de France and La Vuelta a Espana.
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Ewan won stages 5 and 7 of the race with scintillating form early on and was leading the points classification as a result.
It is not clear if his withdrawal has come about as a precaution with those plans in mind or if his involvement in the two forthcoming events has been thrown into question.
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After he triumphed on Stage 7, Ewan admitted that his focus had already shifted to his goals in the remainder of the season after his early success at the Giro.
"My goal remains the same for this year, and I need to do what's best in preparation for the Tour," Ewan said.
"Unfortunately, sprinters' legs don't recover in the same way that any other riders do, and if I finished the Giro now I would be dying for the next few months.
"This year so far has been very tough with the weather and a lot of guys legs are hurting a lot. I have to make sure I don't go so deep because if you do, it's hard to start again in the next Tour."
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