Caleb Ewan wins stage 11 at the Tour De France.
Caleb Ewan wins stage 11 at the Tour De France.

Cycling in his blood: Who is Caleb Ewan?

Caleb Ewan sat his parents down and told them how it was going to be.

Like he would years later on a bike, the 17-year-old Ewan knew where he wanted to go and he was fiercely determined to get there.

Ewan told his Korean mother Kassandra and Queenslander father Mark that he would quit school after Year 11 to pursue a career in cycling.

Mum and dad wanted their son to not only finish school, but go to university.

But Ewan convinced them that this was the path for him and that the huge promise he showed in Victoria's Bay Cycling Classic as a 17-year-old was proof he could make it.

"I think if my parents had it their way they probably would have liked me to have stayed (in school), but they knew I was pretty passionate about it and there wasn't much they could do really," Ewan told News Corp Australia in 2013.

Born in Sydney, Ewan has cycling in his blood. His dad raced, and while Ewan grew up playing rugby and soccer, he took up cycling when the family moved to the Southern Highlands region of NSW and Mark returned to the bike for fitness.

They gave Ewan a mountain bike for Christmas, which he actually used to win his first race - in a velodrome - when he was just 10.

 

Caleb Ewan his mum Kassandra in 2014.
Caleb Ewan his mum Kassandra in 2014.

All those memories came flooding back on the other side of the world late Wednesday night (EST), when the Aussie pocket rocket finally made dreams a reality.

"My mum and dad always believed in me, that I could always get here and they supported me as a young kid and let me realise my dream," he said after his maiden Tour de France win.

"I can remember being 10 and just pretending I was in the Tour de France winning and now I'm actually here and winning, so I'm not lying when I say it's a dream come true for me.

"This is really what I sacrificed everything for when I left Australia and tried to realise my dream to become a professional cyclist and it was to be here and be winning on the biggest stage in cycling.

"As an Australian you have to sacrifice a lot to come to Europe and you leave your friends and family behind to be here."

Ewan first rose to prominence on the streets of Geelong as a baby-faced teenager when he stunned a celebrated field to win a stage of the Bay Cycling Classic, before following up in Williamstown a couple of days later.

 

Caleb Ewan wins by a matter of inches.
Caleb Ewan wins by a matter of inches.

"Ever since I won at the Bay Crits as a 17-year-old, people immediately said if I can do that then I can win at the highest level at the Tour de France," he said.

"There's been expectation that I could come here and win. I also had that expectation I'd be able to come here and win.

"It's taken longer than I'd hoped ... but this shouldn't have been my first Tour de France, I believe I was ready three or four years ago.

"I've always been eager to go straight to the top and race at the highest level. I've been held back, but finally I got my chance and finally I can prove myself."

True to form, Ewan is already thinking ahead. The daunting Pyrenees and Alps stand in his way, but if Ewan can get through that and make it to Paris, the biggest stage awaits.

"I'm not done yet. I want to win on the Champs Elysees (Stage 21) because I think that's the biggest race for a sprinter to win," he said.

"This was a dream come true, but that would be even bigger."

Caleb Ewan is congratulated by teammate Jasper De Buyst after his brilliant win.
Caleb Ewan is congratulated by teammate Jasper De Buyst after his brilliant win.
News Corp Australia


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