January 27, 2019
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2019 – Geelong – Geelong : 164 km
The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will this year use the same 163km course as in 2018,
January 27, 2019
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2019 – Geelong – Geelong : 164 km
The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will this year use the same 163km course as in 2018, which benefitted from the addition of a fourth climb of Challambra Crescent, cutting down the peloton so that only a 24-man group came to the finish line in Geelong, Victoria, to fight it out for victory. The men’s race has seen a different nationality win every year since its inception in 2015, and in 2018 saw its first Australian winner in Bora-Hansgrohe’s Jay McCarthy. It was an extremely promising start to the season for the now 26-year-old rider, who had been disappointed not to have won a stage at last year’s Tour Down Under the week after having taken silver at the national road race championships.
Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Elia Viviani sprinted to the win at the men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday, beating Lotto Soudal’s Caleb Ewan and Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott).
Viviani was able to stay with the lead group despite the four tough climbs of Challambra Crescent on the finishing circuits. Despite a last-gasp effort by Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) to escape the sprinters’ clutches just before the final kilometre, the Italian champion was able to emerge from the slipstream of lead-out man Michael Mørkøv in the final couple of hundred metres to hold off a fast-finishing Ewan, with Impey almost caught for third by Dimension Data’s Ryan Gibbons in the reduced-bunch sprint.
“The tactic was to drop me, but we played smart and were always able to come back,” Viviani told Channel 7 after the finish. “I have to say thanks to the best team in the world, with Michael doing a fantastic lead-out for me. With his help, I’m always confident of taking the win. Michael’s been away from home for a month now, but this is the pay-off.”
How it unfolded
The peloton started in Geelong under a perfect blue sky, with an equally perfect 23C to go with it.
Immediately after the neutral zone, as the start flag was dropped by race director Scott Sunderland, Nathan Elliott, riding for the KordaMentha Real Estate Australian national team, broke clear, and was soon joined by his teammate Carter Turnbull and Astana’s Laurens De Vreese.
The trio was allowed to have its day, quickly building up a lead of over four minutes. After appearing to make a deal whereby Elliott would be allowed to take maximum points at the intermediate sprints while De Vreese would take the ‘king of the mountain’ points, the break settled into a good rhythm, working well together, while the bunch, led by Mitchelton-Scott, kept them pegged at around three-to-four minutes.
Only as the race approached the three-and-a-half finishing circuits back in Geelong, which made for four ascents of the tough Challambra Crescent climb, with 60km to go, did the bunch begin to react in earnest, with Lotto Soudal and Bora-Hansgrohe joining Mitchelton on the front, with those three teams riding for Caleb Ewan, defending champion Jay McCarthy and Daryl Impey, respectively.
When the break hit the Challambra climb for the first time, Turnbull immediately hit the wall, having worked hard all day, and it was left to his teammate Elliott and De Vreese to take on the climb alone, where the Belgian took maximum KOM points.
The leading pair still had over two-and-a-half minutes over the bunch at this point, and had pushed their lead out a little more to 2:40 as they went through the finish line with three laps of the circuit to go.
After De Vreese was first over the top of Challambra the next time over the climb, he opened up a bit of a gap over Elliott on the descent, with the Australian beginning to suffer a little for his efforts.
De Vreese’s Astana teammate, Davide Ballerini, and Dimension Data’s Nic Dlamini also rode clear from the bunch on the same descent, and, only a couple of kilometres later, De Vreese simply rode Elliott off his wheel, and he was caught by Dlamini and Ballerini just before the third climb up Challambra.
On the climb, Ballerini was able to drop Elliott and Dlamini, and caught up with De Vreese going over the top, putting two Astana riders at the head of affairs, with a 1:34 gap over the bunch going into the final 25km, but it wasn’t long before Ballerini had to leave his exhausted teammate behind, and Ballerini went into the final 16.6km lap with a minute’s lead over the peloton.
Despite the bunch catching Elliott, Dlamini and De Vreese on that final lap, and then Ballerini halfway up the final climb of Challambra, the expected fireworks failed to materialise as the sprinters’ teams dragged their men over the top and into the final eight kilometres.
Deceuninck-QuickStep take control
Despite efforts from Team Sky’s Dylan van Baarle – who was policed by Mitchelton’s Lucas Hamilton and Deceuninck’s Dries Devenyns – and then from Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez, with Richie Porte then trying to rid himself of the sprinters with just over a kilometre to go, having been unable to make a difference on the climb, it was Viviani’s Deceuninck-QuickStep team that took control.
Danish champion Michael Mørkøv expertly led out Viviani, who jumped from his wheel in the final couple of hundred metres, with Ewan his only real competition.
Impey tried to follow, but could only manage third, with his compatriot Gibbons almost catching him on the line.
Viviani could celebrate another win – his second already so far in 2019, having also won the opening stage of the Tour Down Under – while the climbers rued an opportunity lost, with no one able to make the climbs significantly tough enough to deter the sprinters.
Ewan also praised his Lotto Soudal teammates, despite having narrowly missed out on the win.
“I tried to hide as much as possible today, and my teammates did a great job of keeping me out of the wind,” the Australian said. “It was hard when it went full gas those last two times over the climb, but I started the climbs in a good position thanks to my team.”
Impey said his Mitchelton-Scott teammates tried to make the race as difficult as possible for the pure sprinters, but the South African had to settle for third place for the second year in a row.
“There was a bit of a headwind on the climb, and we tried to drop Caleb and Viviani, but to finish third in that group of sprinters… I have to be happy with that,” he said.
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3:54:35
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
4 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
6 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
7 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
10 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
11 Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
13 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
14 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky
15 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
16 Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb
17 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
18 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
19 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First Pro Cycling
20 Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
21 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
22 Dylan Sunderland (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian Team
23 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Dimension Data
24 Joey Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team
25 George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma
26 Clément Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
27 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
28 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb
29 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
30 Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
31 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling
32 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
33 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
34 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:11
35 Thomas Scully (NZl) EF Education First Pro Cycling 0:00:13
36 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Sky 0:00:15
37 Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:25
38 Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
39 Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:27
40 Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:38
41 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:45
42 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:55
43 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:04
44 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
45 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
46 Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
47 Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Team 0:01:13
48 Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC Team
49 Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) CCC Team
50 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
51 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
52 Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
53 Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal
54 Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling
55 Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb
56 Ayden Toovey (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian Team
57 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team
58 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal 0:01:29
59 Michael Freiberg (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian Team
60 Tom Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
61 Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Col) Trek-Segafredo
62 William Clarke (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
63 James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
64 Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:57
65 Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Team 0:02:13
66 Nicholas White (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian Team 0:02:46
67 Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
68 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal
69 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
70 Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling 0:03:22
71 Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:43
72 James Whelan (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling
73 Harrison Sweeney (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian Team 0:04:19
74 Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
75 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
76 Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (Den) Astana Pro Team
77 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma
78 Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:40
79 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin
80 Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
81 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Dimension Data
82 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
83 Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
84 Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
85 Adam Blythe (GBr) Lotto Soudal
86 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
87 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:06:27
88 Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data 0:07:07
89 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team 0:08:25
90 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
91 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team
92 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb
93 Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
94 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
95 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
96 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
97 Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
98 Nathan Elliott (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian Team
99 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
DNF Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Sam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
DNF Max Kanter (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNF Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
DNF Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
DNF Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Daniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First Pro Cycling
DNF Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data
DNF Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension Data
DNF Carter Turnbull (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian Team