Jens Mouris spent the last 15 minutes of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic opener in a two rider break. Opening the sprint in the final straightaway, Mouris appeared to have a lock on the win until Caleb Ewan (Bikebug) jumped from the bunch and overtook the breakaway duo to win the Ritchie Boulevard Criterium. Mouris settled for second. His breakmate, Tom Scully (Grays Online), rounded out the podium.
“We were gambling on a bunch sprint and wanted to keep Leigh [Howard] as fresh as possible,” explained Sport Director Matt Wilson. “The other riders were meant to cover the best riders in the second half of the race and take their chances if they saw any opportunities to win for themselves. Jens covered the attack from Scully and set himself up for the win. If it wasn’t for the brave move from Caleb, he would have had it.”
The race began with an early attack from Greg Henderson (Degani Bakery Café). The New Zealander lead nearly half the race before Durbridge responded to the growing gap and lead the charge to bring Henderson back to the field.
Mitch Docker found himself in the right place at the right time during the first intermediate sprint and managed to score two points for second. Although he missed out on points for the second intermediate sprint, Docker won the third and final sprint, earning three points for his effort.
“The sprint competition wasn’t a planned goal for the race, but it’s a jersey,” noted Wilson. “Mitch found himself up there in the sprints a couple times, and he just kept rolling with it.”
With Mouris in the break and on the podium and Docker in the hunt for the sprint jersey, Wilson reported satisfaction with the start of the season for ORICA-GreenEDGE.
“The team rode exactly to plan,” said Wilson. “We had everything under control. It was unlucky in the end that we didn’t come off with the win at the finish. Hats off to Ewan who rode an amazing race.”