Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan's turbulent 2023 season has taken another hit as he grapples with a wrist injury and an uncertain future within his team, Lotto-Dstny. Ewan's recent struggles on the cycling circuit culminated in an unfortunate exit from the Gooikse Pijl race due to the wrist injury, further dashing his hopes as he couldn't participate in the Omloop van het Houtland due to a diagnosis of acute tendinopathy of his right wrist.
Lotto-Dstny confirmed Ewan's injury and absence from races, stating that he is currently undergoing treatment in Belgium. However, it remains uncertain when the talented sprinter will be able to return to competitive racing.
The turmoil in Ewan's career extends beyond his physical ailment. The 29-year-old rider's relationship with team manager Stephane Heulot has soured since his untimely exit from the Tour de France. Despite the strained relations, Ewan expressed his assumption that he would still be part of the team in 2024, citing his existing contract.
However, he acknowledged the team's preference for his departure. Ewan reflected on the challenges he faced this season, noting that conflicts like these are not uncommon in professional sports. Communication with Heulot has been limited, but Ewan emphasized that their interactions had always been sparse.
Tour de France Strain and Criticism
Ewan's season had seen some success with victories at the Van Merksteijn Fences Classic and eight other podium finishes. Nevertheless, his relationship with Lotto-Dstny deteriorated during the Tour de France, where the team differed with Ewan's race choices.
This tension came to the forefront when Ewan withdrew from the Tour on stage 12. Heulot publicly criticized Ewan's performance and mental state, prompting a swift response from Ewan's management, who deemed the comments "dangerous" and "outdated." Heulot has since acknowledged that Ewan's contractual situation for 2024 is a point of contention.
As Ewan's return to racing remains uncertain, and with his future with Lotto-Dstny hanging in the balance, it is possible that he may have already participated in his last race wearing the team's colors. Heulot, while maintaining his stance, emphasized that both he and Ewan are professionals and their intent is not to harm Ewan's career but to ensure he lands in the best possible situation.
The uncertainties surrounding Caleb Ewan's wrist injury and his relationship with Lotto-Dstny have created an intriguing narrative within the world of cycling, leaving fans and analysts eagerly awaiting developments in the coming months.