Wellens also wins the time trial in Andalusia!
Wellens extends his leading position after an extraordinary performance.
Lotto Soudal is thrilled to announce the signing of Caleb Ewan. The 24-year-old Australian makes the move from Mitchelton-Scott and signed a two-year contract.
Caleb Ewan: “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.”
“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.”
“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-Sanremo, 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.”
“This is a multi-year plan of natural progress: building a sprint train with guys who have the capabilities to ride the finale of the most important bike races, forming a team with the riders on and off the bike and creating important routines by racing together consistently. However this doesn’t mean that we aren’t eager to get some nice results in the first year.”
Together with Lotto Soudal I hope to write an exciting, new chapter.
Sports manager Marc Sergeant is of course delighted that Lotto Soudal managed to sign Caleb Ewan.
Marc Sergeant: “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. 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.”
“During the conversations Caleb and I had, I noticed how smart and likeable he is; but he is also someone who clearly knows what he wants. At a very young age, he showed to be capable of winning stages in Grand Tours, with his unique style. Within both the peloton and the team, we can speak of a generation shift in the sprint.”
“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. Guys like Jasper De Buyst and Jens Keukeleire could become very important to Caleb. He rode together with Jens for three years, and Jasper has the skills and the guts to deliver a top sprinter into a perfect position in the finishing straight.”
“I think that the ambitions of Caleb are similar to those of the team. In fact, we are starting from scratch whereby the mix of our experience and his potential should allow us to achieve those goals. He is an extremely talented sprinter, so that will become the main focus. Over the years, we will see what he can achieve in certain Classics, but if you finish second in Milan – Sanremo 2018, you definitely have the capacity and technical skills.”
Facts and figures
Born in Sidney
Living in Monaco
Son of an Australian father and a Korean mother
Turned pro at Orica-Greenedge in 2015.