Bundy grandparents celebrate cyclist's Tour de France joy
BUNDABERG'S Marie and Brian Ewan are over the moon about their grandson's recent success in the Tour De France.
A little more than a year ago, Caleb Ewan was devastated to be left out of the Tour de France.
The Australian sprinter had to watch cycling's biggest race on TV after finding out at the last minute his Mitchelton-Scott team was placing all its bets on Adam Yates in the fight for the yellow jersey, and would leave Ewan at home.
A year later, he has earned his first Tour victory after edging a close sprint during Stage 11 in Toulouse on Wednesday.
Mr Ewan said he was "dumbfounded” watching the youngster cross the line, and was going to re-watch the race to make sure it was real.
He said what made the race even more exciting was the fact Caleb had stopped to check on a teammate in an accident and then had to catch up and found the legs to come home for the win.
Mr Ewan said considering it was his grandson's first Tour, the 24-year-old had done incredibly well securing two thirds, a second and now a first place.
An excited Mrs Ewan said she was looking forward to the next sprint race in Stage 16.
She said Caleb, a new father, would also be eager to get back to his family.
The Ewan celebrated Caleb's win with a trip to the Brothers Sports Club for lunch and have a cyclist mascot out by their mailbox.
Ewan switched teams to Lotto-Soudal this season to replace veteran German sprinter Andre Greipel, and the ambitious youngster was, at last, promoted to a team leader role in France.
But the pressure was weighing on Ewan, a winner of 36 professional races including stages at the Spanish Vuelta and Giro d'Italia.
After coming close in earlier Tour stages with three third place finishes and a runner-up spot, he finally delivered by edging one of the peloton's fastest men.
The 25-year-old Australian beat fellow sprinter Dylan Groenewegen by a tyre's width and was awarded victory in a photo finish. Elia Viviani was third ahead of three-time world champion Peter Sagan.
Ewan perfectly timed his effort after Groenewegen launched his bid on the left side of the road.
Ewan took the wheel of his Dutch rival and pipped him to the line.
"It was super hectic,” said Ewan, who has now completed wins at all three Grand Tours.
The win also made up for having to leave Australia just after the birth of his daughter, Lily.
He thanked wife Ryann for letting him go to France in such circumstances.
"She let me come here and leave my young baby in hospital,” Ewan said.
"It's the hardest thing I had to do, to come here to race and leave my daughter in hospital.”