Is Caleb Ewan the most UNLUCKY Tour de France competitor? Aussie crashes AGAIN with victory in sight

Is Caleb Ewan the most UNLUCKY competitor at the Tour de France? Aussie crashes AGAIN with victory in sight – now he faces a nervous wait to see if can continue

  • Australian rider misses golden opportunity to secure rare sprint leg victory
  • He clipped a teammate’s wheel and hit the road heavily to end his chances
  • It comes after a previous crash on the tour and a wretched run at  Giro d’Italia
  • He will be assessed by medics to determine if he can finish the rest of the tour 

Caleb Ewan’s wretched fortunes in the 2022 Grand Tours have continued with the Australian sprint star suffering a heavy fall on his unlucky 13th stage of the Tour de France.

After leaving before stage 12 of his 2022 Giro d’Italia, which he described as ‘the Giro from hell’, Ewan turned his focus to the Tour de France. 

Ewan had battled through the previous 48 hours of mountain toil to set himself up for a crack at victory on a day for the sprinters between Le Bourg d’Oisans to Saint Etienne.

But with 70km left of Friday’s 193km stage, the Sydneysider clipped the back wheel of a teammate’s bike on a sweeping left-hand turn and came down heavily on his left knee.

Rising with difficulty, the bloodied Ewan, who’d already suffered one heavy fall earlier in the Tour when crashing into a hay bale, remounted and tried to rejoin the peloton.

But it proved too much as he sought shelter behind a team car, which earned him a ticking off from the race commissaires, and eventually had to give up the ghost at the foot of the Cote de Saint-Romain-en-Gal climb with about 50km left.

The Lotto Soudal racer now faces an anxious evening to see if he’s fit to continue the three-week race as he nurses shoulder and knee injuries from Friday’s spill. 

Race officials corden off the area and assist Ewan who was in clear pain following the crash

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ ended up limping home one from last on the stage, some 20 minutes down on winner, Mads Pedersen.

‘I don’t know what happened,’ a rueful Ewan reported later.

‘There was braking in the middle of the corner, I had nowhere to go and touched the back wheel in front of me.

‘My knee and shoulder are pretty sore for the moment, so hopefully it’s alright – but we’ll have to wait and see how it evolves later tonight.’

In the 2019 and 2020 Tour de France editions, Ewan won five stages. This year, he placed 13th on stage 2 and 9th on stage 3 during the Grand Départ in Denmark.

From first to last, Ewan managed to bravely finish the stage despite his injuries, finishing second last when victory was on the cards before the accident

From first to last, Ewan managed to bravely finish the stage despite his injuries, finishing second last when victory was on the cards before the accident

The sprinter made it through the challenging Alpine stages in hopes of grabbing a victory at a Tour de France edition that offers few sprinting chances.

 ‘I think, you know, it’s stage 13, and we’ve only had two sprints, so it’s not a great Tour for sprinters,’ Ewan said.

Australia’s leading rider remains Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s Nick Schultz, 33rd overall at 57:12 down, while Michael Storer (Groupama FDJ) is 45th and Chris Hamilton (DSM) 50th.

The other survivors are Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) 72nd, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) 95th and Ewan, who’s 156th of the remaining 157 competitors