Australian sprint ace Caleb Ewan withdrew early from the Giro d’Italia on Thursday to conserve energy for the Tour de France, his team Lotto said. The 27-year-old failed to add to his five stage career wins at this year’s Giro — his best result was runner-up in the sixth stage. It is the fifth time in the five Giros he has competed in that Ewan has pulled out.

“As planned, Caleb is leaving the Giro in the second week of the race. With numerous mountain stages to come, it has been decided he should go home,” the team said in a statement.

“After a short rest, he will prepare for his next big target for this season, the Tour de France, where he will be seeking victories in the sprint specialist stages.”

Ewan will bid to add to his five stage wins at the Tour de France. The race gets underway in Copenhagen on July 1 and runs till July 24.

RBA/AFP Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency

GIRO D'ITALIA 2022 STAGE 12Giro dItaliapro cyclingcaleb ewanGiro d'Italia 2022