The Tour Take | Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
1st – Elia Viviani (Deceuninck- Quickstep)
2nd – Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)
3rd – Daryl Impey (Mitchelton- SCOTT)
The men face 163.3 kilometres, and like the women, started and finished on the Geelong Waterfront. The riders set off on a large loop towards Barwon Heads, where they then fought out the first intermediate sprint at Torquay. The remaining two intermediate sprints came at the first and second time across the start finish line. Four KOMs line the road, the first at Bells Beach followed by the first three times up Challambra Cresent. In total, the riders will tackled the 810 metre (9.8%) Challambra Cresent four times.
Nathan Elliott and the best rapper in the peloton, Laurens De Vreese were the first two riders to jump away. Only minutes later, young Australian Carter Turnbull wanted a piece of the action and made his way across the gap with no qualms from the peloton. The three pressed on and hovered around the four minute mark for much of the large loop. As the riders hit Challambra for the first time the gap was 2 minutes 40 seconds, and it was the end of the line for Turnbull who made his way back to the peloton. After the second climb of Challambra, De Vreese was now on his own. He was the last man to be caught with 30 kilometres to go.
The last two laps were ridden hard, but before that, the race wasn’t hard enough for the likes of Porte et al to make the difference. The last time up Challambra it was surprisingly Daniel Oss who was first over the top with a group of roughly 15 who had a small gap including Daryl Impey. A large group came back on the downhill and the biggest bunch sprint in the history of the race would be contested. Team Sky tried to rattle the apple cart with constant attacks in the run, but the pace was kept high by Deceuninck- Quickstep. Micheal Morkov provided the final lead out for Viviani with Caleb Ewan stuck hard on the left hand barriers. Viviani held on for the win just ahead of Ewan with Impey in third.
3- Elia Viviani- Probably the race favourite and he delivered. He was looked after well by his team in the final kilometres but delivered when he needed to.
2- Caleb Ewan- Didn’t see him all day until the last 50 metres. Another 20 metres and he would have won. A good sign that he can navigate the harder parcours.
1- Dylan Van Baarle- The only rider having a serious crack in the dying stages. He did everything to not let it be a bunch sprint but alas, he couldn’t get the gap needed to cause serious problems.
See you back at the social club,