Superstar cyclist Jai Hindley is the next big-name Aussie to confirm his start in this month’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
It is a particularly symbolic race for the 26-year-old, as Hindley and Cadel are the only two Australian cyclists to make the exclusive pantheon of Grand Tour winners, with Hindley claiming the revered pink jersey at the 2022 Giro d’Italia.
Hindley will represent powerhouse Bora-hansgrohe and returns to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race as a more experienced and accomplished rider.
“I’m very excited to be back racing in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, I think it’s a great event and a great way to showcase a different part of Australia to the rest of the cycling world,” Hindley said.
“I think I’ve come a long way since I raced in 2020. I’ve had some results here and there, and grown a lot as a rider. I have a lot more experience and I’ll look to use that where I can in the race.”
A lot has changed for Hindley since he last pinned on his number for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
After finishing 34th in the 2020 edition, he went on to have a break-out season by claiming his first victory at the Herald Sun Tour. He then went on to finish second overall at the Tour d’Italia, holding the pink jersey until final stage of the three-week race.
After a quiet 2021 season, Hindley was back for redemption and had an outstanding 2022 season with a top-10 finish at the Vuelta a España and then a breakthrough maiden Grand Tour win at the Giro d’Italia.
As the first Australian to ever achieve this incredible feat, Hindley put his climbing ability on show during the penultimate stage, as he attacked the final brutal ascent through the Italian alps. Shooting away from his competitors, Hindley managed to create a 1:28 minute gap to earn the pink jersey with just one stage to go.
This time, Hindley’s closest rivals failed to take ground and the West Australian consolidated his performance in Verona to take the title.
As one of the peloton’s best pure climbers, Hindley has showcased to his competitors on the WorldTour that no course is ever too steep or long for him. This makes him tough competition at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, particularly those in the mix for the Visit Victoria King of the Mountain jersey.
Hindley will be supported by a strong Bora-hansgrohe outfit, spearheaded by the likes of German star Maximillian Schachmann, who won Paris–Nice for two consecutive years as well as tallying up some impressive results at Liège–Bastogne–Liège.
“We’re coming in with quite a strong team for that particular race and on that course. I believe we can really play into the final stages of the races with the different options and strengths we have.
“Hopefully we can be there in the pointy end.”
2023 Bora-hansgrohe Men’s Elite Race line-up
- Shane Archbold (NZL)
- Marco Haller (AUT)
- Jai Hindley (AUS)
- Luis-Joe Lührs (GER)
- Jordi Meeus (BEL)
- Maximillian Schachmann (GER)
- Giovanni Aleotti (ITA)
- Ide Schelling (NED)
- Cian Uijtderbroeks (BEL)
- Matthew Walls (GBR)