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In just four years, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race’s Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s races have gained recognition among the professional ranks as the premier one-day modern classic outside Europe and the opening one-day race of the season.
The Elite Men’s road race reached the pinnacle of world cycling after it was elevated to feature on the UCI WorldTour calendar from 2017—2019. The Elite Women’s race is now UCI sanctioned and is aspiring towards UCI Women’s WorldTour classification in the years to come.
Since the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in 2015, the one-day Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s races have attracted bigger crowds year on year. They give spectators a rare chance to get an up-close roadside view of the world’s best cyclists in peak performance.
One of the course’s major spectator drawcards is the steep and winding ascent near the end of the race – the “Challambra climb”. It offers a thrilling vantage point for spectators to see the cyclists pushed to their upper limit and is often the scene for bold tactical moves and courageous breakaways.
The course is in many ways quintessentially Australian. Its showcases some of the country’s most striking coastlines, including the Victorian Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula and Great Ocean Road, and also passes through nearby coastal towns and the vibrant City of Geelong.
The 2018 elite men and women’s one-day road race program*
Saturday 27 January 2018
Sunday 28 January 2018
*Stay tuned for further details and event start time confirmations in the lead up to the event.
Dutch star Annemiek van Vleuten (NED), from Australian ORICA-SCOTT, took out a stunning win in the Elite Women’s race after sprinting ahead of four fellow breakaway companions.
The Elite Men’s race was held for the first time as a UCI WorldTour sanctioned race. German sprinter Nikias Arndt (GER) took the title in a thrilling finish, narrowly beating Australians Simon Gerrans (ORICA-SCOTT) and Cameron Meyer (KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team).
The ORICA-AIS team and Aussie cyclists came out on top in the Elite Women’s race, with Amanda Spratt (AUS) and Rachel Neylan (AUS) making it a one-two for the Australian outfit.
More of the world’s best teams descended on Geelong as the Elite Men’s race stepped up to a 1.HC classification. Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh (GBR) an impressive attack on the final climb to win ahead of a closing peloton.
In the Elite Women’s race, Australian Rachel Neylan (AUS) (Building Champions) triumphed over a field of nearly 70 riders to clinch her first “big win” in a hard-fought ride.
The Elite Men’s champion was Belgium’s Gianni Meersman (BEL) (Etixx-Quickstep), who sprinted from the leading pack to claim victory in a field of 115.