ROAD BOOK RETROSPECTIVE
Continuing our Road Book Retrospective series, we look back on each edition’s coverage of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race ahead of its return for the first time since 2020. Find below, the compiled Stage Summaries for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 editions of this excellent race.
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28 January 2018
WorldTour status has made Geelong’s Great Ocean Road Race – named after Cadel Evans, Australia’s only Tour de France winner – a far bigger prize and, for the peloton, definitely worth staying on for after the frenzy of the Adelaide-based Tour Down Under. For Jay McCarthy of the Bora-Hansgrohe team, who’d slid down the overall standings and dropped out of the top three a week earlier as the Tour Down Under reached Willunga Hill, it proved well worth it. Supported by World Road Race champion, Peter Sagan, he sprinted to victory from a front group that included a resurgent Elia Viviani and Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey. Afterwards, McCarthy revealed his secret weapon: a hotel room overlooking the finishing straight. ‘My balcony at the hotel overlooked the finishing straight. I knew where I needed to go so I went there,’ the Australian said of the timing of his decisive sprint.
Weather: 32 Degrees Celsius, Wind: NE 17km/h
Results: 1) J. McCarthy (BOH) 4:04:00 2) E. Viviani (QST) 3) D. Impey (MTS)
By Jeremy Whittle
27 January 2019
The heatwave relented a little for the fifth running of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, with temperatures settling down to the mid-twenties. Three riders formed the principal breakaway of the day, with Astana’s hirsute rouleur Laurens De Vreese the sole representative of the WorldTour up the road. When the 5-minute lead started to be drawn in, the door was opened to counter-attacks, which duly came from Nick Dlamini of Dimension Data, as well as Ian Stannard of Team Sky. But the finest of the late attacks was that of Astana’s new signing, the talented young Davide Ballerini. He took the best part of a minute onto the final ascent of the decisive Challambra climb, but by the time they reached the top he’d been caught. However, despite the best efforts of Mitchelton-Scott riding for the back-to-back Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey, Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Elia Viviani – the fastest man for the sprint – hung in over the top of the climb. Late attacks from Sky’s Dylan van Baarle and Trek-Segafredo’s Richie Porte came to nothing, and the race finished in a bunch sprint, handsomely won by the Italian national champion Viviani ahead of a frustrated Caleb Ewan.
Weather: 28 Degrees Celsiuis, Wind: W 22km/h
Results: 1) E. Viviani (DQT) 3:54:35 2) C. Ewan (LTS) 3) D. Impey (MTS)
By Ned Boulting
1 February 2020
Three years after the men’s edition was included in the WorldTour, the women’s edition achieved the same rank. Held in heavy rain, the race did not end in the expected sprint but saw Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) triumph with a solo attack after the peloton had been reduced by a crash at the 20km mark. Early in the race, a breakaway of five riders built an advantage of up to 4 minutes until Sunweb and Rally Cycling started the chase in earnest on the final 50km, quickly reducing the gap before a slippery descent caused a mass crash that reduced the peloton to about 30 riders. Crucially, pre-race favourite Chloe Hosking (Rally) and newly crowned Australian champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) were left without team support in the final, while Sunweb escaped the crash and had all of their six riders in the front group. On the Challambra Crescent climb, Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), Tayler Wiles (Trek-Segafredo) and Lippert set a high pace, reducing the size of the group even further to about a dozen. Finally, on the short rise of Melville Avenue, Lippert put in an all-or-nothing attack and got away. Chased by a trio of Spratt, Wiles and Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team), Lippert held on to a 15-second gap at the finish to celebrate her first Women’s WorldTour one-day victory.
Weather: 17 Degress Celsius, Wind: SW 13km/h
Results: 1) L. Lippert (SUN) 3:17:46 2) A. Sierra (ASA) 0:15 3) S. Spratt (MTS)
By Lukas Knofler
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