Caleb Ewan returns to racing at EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg


This Sunday, the 24th edition of the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg, a one-day race, part of the WorldTour since 2005, takes place. With four ascents of the Waseberg - the final one at fifteen kilometres from the finish - the race offers opportunities for both sprinters and attackers. However, it has been over ten years since an escapee managed to triumph in the city centre of Hamburg. Also this year, a lot of top sprinters will take the start and that way, another bunch sprint seems to be almost inevitable. Lotto Soudal will line up with triple Tour de France stage winner Caleb Ewan, who won the Hamburg Classic in 2016. Next week, the Australian will also take part in the four-day Deutschland Tour.

Caleb Ewan: “I was quite tired after the Tour, and I also came home to our baby, which did not really favour the recovery. It has been a challenge to adjust to dad life and I’m still getting used to that, because you’re not sleeping so good but you still need to train. So I think my recovery from the Tour has been good, but not perfect.” 

“The Hamburg Classic is a big race. Like in most races where I have the opportunity to win, I really want to go for the victory. But it is hard to tell where my shape is if you haven’t raced for a while. I’m hoping that I can still use my Tour form, because  it is more about maintaining than adding new shape. If my form is good, it is a race that really suits me because it is quite hard at the end, with the local laps and the steep climbs. As there aren’t too many Classics that end in a sprint – especially in the second part of the season – a lot of the sprinters will want their team to control. The finishing straight is always quite fast and technical. It is a kind of finish where it is hard to move back up, so you need to be in good position relatively early. Getting your timing right will be crucial. We have quite a good team and I also have Roger alongside me. Hopefully, I can be competitive and get to the finish in pretty good position, so I can contest the win.”

“I will need to wait and see how the legs feel on Sunday and hope it’s good, so I can carry it in the Tour of Germany. There will be some sprint opportunities there, so I hope I can contest those. It has been a long season, I also had never done an entire Grand Tour before, so I’m just hoping for the good legs to get some nice results.” 

Sports director Herman Frison: “After the start in Hamburg, the riders will do a big loop, after which two small local laps follow, with each time an ascent of the famous Waseberg, a steep but not all too long climb. The riders will then cross the finish line for the first time and head for another two local laps where again, a double ascent of the Waseberg is on the menu. The riders will be presented with undulating terrain before finishing in Hamburg. Caleb Ewan is part of our line-up, so it is natural that we will aim for the sprint, but we will need to await his form after he finished a really successful but hard Tour de France. Due to the altitude metres, the course should suit Caleb perfectly, something he already proved with a victory in 2016.”

“Roger Kluge will ride in his home country and will be extra motivated to race. If it comes down to a sprint, Roger will be the final guy, but just like at the Tour, we will try to get Caleb in the best possible position towards the sprint and we definitely have a strong team to do so. If Caleb would not feel good, Stan Dewulf - who did a strong BinckBank Tour - is a perfect rider to join a possible breakaway. Also a rider like Lawrence Naesen - who replaces Frederik Frison, who fell ill - can perform such a role. But if Caleb is feeling well, we will definitely go for the sprint.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Stan Dewulf, Caleb Ewan, Roger Kluge, Nikolas Maes, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort and Lawrence Naesen.

Sports director: Herman Frison.