This year’s Tour de France has captivated veteran audiences as well as lured in new cycling enthusiasts. Falling into the latter category, I have watched with bewilderment the high speed sprints, steep mountain climbs, and the overwhelming suffering that these athletes have endured in the world’s most physically challenging competition. I noticed, however, that the racial diversity of the competitors does not always mirror the colorful assortment of jerseys in the peloton. Team Lotto’s star sprinter, Caleb Ewan, is a rare exception.
Ewan was born in Wales to a Korean mother and Australian father. He began competitively cycling at ten years old. His intrinsic talent and explosive speed was spotted early on. At 17, he was crowned World Champion at the Junior Track World Championships. His years as a teenage prodigy were followed by professional success in the Tour Down Under and Giro d’Italia 2016 where he earned the nickname “The Pocket Rocket”. However, this year, in his first Tour de France, Ewan has truly stepped into the spotlight. He won Stage 11 in a field sprint, narrowly edging Dylan Groenewegen a few meters from the finish line. On July 23rd, he picked up another stage win in the 177 km route to Nimes. While his general classification time essentially puts him out of contention to win this year, Caleb Ewan has performed well beyond expectations and become an inspiration to young cyclists and multiracial people around the world.
Ian Shen-Costello, Project Race Teen Vice President