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Gerrans fifth in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Sun 31 Jan 2016

Santos Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans placed fifth today in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) held off a reduced peloton to take the win in Geelong after a tough race. 

Sport director Matt Wilson was pleased with the way the team rode today.

“I think the guys rode really well, everyone rode really to plan and did a great job, its just that Kennaugh was too strong in the end so hats off to him.”

A nervous bunch saw Mitch Docker take a fall early on, as the peloton wriggled around the road with teams frantically working to set up the first break of the day. Later in the race Caleb Ewan also took a tumble but was able to rejoin his team mates in the peloton.

“Obviously it was bad luck with the two crashes,” said Wilson. “But that didn’t really effect things too much, Mitch did a great job on the front after that.”

How it happened:

In the second edition of the race, the riders set off from the Geelong Waterfront with 174km ahead of them.

A breakaway established after 30km of fast racing with four riders; Pat Lane (Avanti Isowhey Sports) Alexandro De Marchi (BMC Pro Cycling) Josh Berry (St. George Merida Cycling Team) and Adrian Hegyvary (United Healthcare) rapidly gaining time on the peloton. Kristian House (ONE Pro Cycling) and Morgan Smith (Kenyan Riders Downunder) soon bridged across to create a six man group, that then rode out to a maximum advantage of six minutes 30seconds. 

ORICA-GreenEDGE took up the responsibility to control the move by sending Docker to the front of the peloton shortly after he recovered from his crash. 

Once the race started to head towards the laps, attacks began to fire on the short sharp climbs.  This caused the breakaways advantage to drop down to only two minute 42seconds as they crossed the finish line for the first time.

The steep climbs used in the 2010 Road World Championships quickly played a part in diminishing the field, leaving a select group of around 40 riders with only 50km of racing remaining. ORICA-GreenEDGE continued to cover moves as riders attempted to jump across to the slowing breakaway. Youngster Jack Haig found himself in a chase group of 10 riders attempting to bridge the gap.

With 20km to go the peloton finally regrouped for a brief second until a dangerous move of three riders headed away with the end of the bike race closing in.

Damien Howson rode a strong race jumping into a group which reeled in the trio of leaders in the final lap. In the end the race came down to strong attack by Kennaugh on the penultimate climb which saw him hold on all the way to the finish with just six seconds to spare. ORICA-GreenEDGE led the chase in the final as Gerrans sprinted in to fifth position.

The team is back in action on Wednesday 3rd February with five days of racing at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

 

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Results:

1. Peter Kennaugh (SKY) 4h04:59

2. Leigh Howard (IAM) +6

3. Niccolo Bonifacio (LTS) +6

5. Simon Gerrans (OGE) +6

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