Defending elite men’s champion Dries Devenyns is locked in for a Geelong and the Surf Coast return to reclaim his title in the 2023 edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Devenyns claimed the 2020 elite men’s race in a sprint showdown with Frenchman Pavel Sivakov from Team Ineos.

Devenyns will once again be lining-up for powerhouse team Soudal Quick-Step, which is the only team to have won the modern one-day classic multiple times since its inception.

The versatile rider is known as a great asset to the ‘Wolfpack’, riding with the likes of Remco Evenepoel and ultimately assisting the 2022 World Champion to his maiden Grand Tour win at the Vuelta a España.

However, the 39-year-old is eyeing off a return to the same podium that rewarded the Belgian his maiden one-day title and first UCI win since stage victories in the 2016 Tour of Belgium and Tour de Wallonie.

“I’m really happy to be back in Australia and looking forward to racing the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – I’ve missed it the past two years!”

“Of course, I’ll do my best to defend my title, though there are bigger names on the start list with more potential to win the event. It’s true, I’m rather old and experienced, did the race on multiple occasions, but every race can unfold differently than expected.

“I’m confident our Soudal Quick-Step team can put a good team performance and help put one or more of us on the podium. I will tell my teammates to trust their own gut feeling and race with panache.”

Soudal Quick-Step are bringing a swathe of rising European and British talent with them to this year’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race including Grand Tour stage winners Josef Černý and Mauro Schmid.

Soudal Quick-Step 2023 line-up:

  • Mattia Cattaneo (ITA)
  • Josef Černý (CZE)
  • Dries Devenyns (BEL)
  • James Knox (GBR)
  • Mauro Schmid (SUI)
  • Jannik Steimle (GER)
  • Martin Svrček (CZE)