This time last month we were rocking and riding! What better time to take a look back at some of the 2020 memorable moments.
The sixth edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race had it all – a new four-day format exclusive to the Surf Coast, intemperate weather, 120,000 on course spectators and the best one-day cycling Australia has ever seen.
Towards Zero Race Torquay (UCI 1.1)
The inaugural Towards Zero Race Torquay saw thousands of fans line the Esplanade and 13km circuit on Thursday 30 January. The foreshore festival was pumping with activities, live music, cool drinks and the big screen broadcast.
While Irish National Champion Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won our Men’s circuit race for the third time, it was Australian rider Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) who made a splash – literally.
After cooling off at Torquay Front Beach Chapman said: “I’m a bit addicted to gambling in a bike race, it’s true. Today it was just about having fun and really racing, you know, getting the race going”.
For those who couldn’t join us, more than 50,000 viewers tuned into the online Live stream.
Swisse People’s Ride
The 2020 Swisse People’s Ride called for participants to dig deep and keep moving despite the inclement forecast. For safety reasons, the 115km course was shortened to 65km, and even though you couldn’t conquer Challambra, there’s no doubt riders found their greatness on Saturday 1 January.
One of those was Hamlyn Heights cyclist Greg Kent. “The Cadel Evans ride gives us something to look forward to each year,” he said.
Greg’s wife Cheryl has Huntington’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition. Greg, 66, rides to keep strong and healthy as Cheryl’s full-time carer.
This year more women riders took part thanks to the inaugural This Girl Can Women’s Group – an initiative with VicHealth and Wheel Women Cycling.
Registrations for 2021 will open soon, with exciting plans underway to celebrate 10 years since Cadel won the Tour de France.
Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race (UCI Women’s WorldTour)
In an Australian first, the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race opened the prestigious 2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar on Saturday 1 February.
Heavy rain and wind meant the broadcast helicopter was grounded with 30km to go, but moto commentator Robbie McEwen was able to beam live vision from his phone. A crash in the final stages took out almost 20 members of the peloton before the sprinters unleashed on the final straight.
It was Team Sunweb’s rising star Liane Lippert who stole the show, crossing the line 15 seconds ahead of defending champion Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team), and 2016 winner Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT).
“I still can’t believe that I won my first WorldTour race and I’m now in this jersey and it’s just amazing,” the 22-year-old German rider said.
🗣"It’s amazing, I can’t believe I’ve won my first WorldTour race. The team played a really important role in the finale; without them I couldn’t have won today.” @LianeLippert after winning the opening #UCIWWT event at the #DeakinWomensRace🇦🇺 today.
— Team DSM (@TeamDSM) February 1, 2020
The VEGEMITE® Kids Lead Out saw 12 of Victoria’s best junior riders join Cadel on the start line of the Elite Men’s Race on Sunday 2 Februay. “We’re here today for the WorldTour race, but we’re also here for the future,” said Cadel.
The VEGEMITE® Family Ride scheduled for Friday 31 January could not go as planned with temperatures peaking at 44°C. However, families were invited back on Sunday to ride the finishing straight just like the pros after the Men’s Race got underway.
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Elite Men’s Race (UCI WorldTour)
In the opening stages of the Men’s one-day classic, local fans were treated to an Aussie onslaught with Carter Turnbull, Connor Leahy and Rudy Porter forming an early breakaway. Turnbull and another KordaMentha Australian National Team rider Elliott Schultz then controlled the mid-section of the race delivering Turnbull both the Mapei Sprint Classification and Swisse King of the Mountain crown.
During the blistering Geelong circuits, including four times over the famous Challambra Climb, Mitchelton-SCOTT took command. But, it was the two man sprint finish – deemed an “arm-wrestle with quadriceps” by commentator Matthew Keenan – that presented an entertaining finale to the 2020 event.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) February 2, 2020
Deceuninck-Quick-Step domestique Dries Devenyns pinched his first UCI WorldTour win ahead of Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos). Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) finished third for the third year in a row.
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