February 1, 2018
Fourth edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean race sees the first Australian winner
Jay McCarthy (BORA - hansgrohe) gave the home crowd its first Aussie winner, outsprinting Elia Viviani (Quickstep) and Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey (Michelton-Scott) in Geelong.
The 164km race out and back from Geelong was fought out in searing temperatures that hit 40C. The conditions and terrain, including the infamous Challambra Crescent climb, a 900-metre long ascent with a maximum gradient of 22%, which the riders had to face a total of four times, saw a vast swathe of the field eliminated. ahead of the final battle on a 3 lap circuit of Geelong.
Following a series of attacks a break finally established and enjoyed a measure of rope, pulling out a lead of 6'40" at one point. With 25km to go the peloton had pulled it back to two minutes in anticipation of some decisive moves across the three passes of the 16.4km finishing circuit, eventually being reeled in with 15km to go.
With the peloton split Jay McCarthjy was part of a small group that scrambled with a few kilometres left.
Speaking at the finish line he said, “In this race, everything went well. I was a bit disappointed with my performance at the Tour Down Under, but I came with confidence to Geelong and wanted to achieve a good result. It was good that Daniel was with me in the last kilometre. We had Chaves and Viviani on our heels and it motivated me to have a teammate there in the final. I’m really happy to end my racing in Australia in this way.”