Argentinean champion Gonzalo Najar (SEP de San Juan) escaped to take the stage victory and race lead, crossing the line almost two minutes ahead of the second-placed rider, Oscar Sevilla (Medellin). Ganna came in seventh at 2:23, but defended his efforts.
"I think that I was the only rider weighing more than 85kg to arrive in the top positions," Ganna said, according to his team. "More than that, I couldn't do. I made such a tough effort. It was not easy today racing up to more than 2500 meters. To breathe was very demanding."
There are two more stages to go in the race, with the 152.6km stage 6 including two smaller climbs before the sprint-friendly final stage in San Juan.
"I'm not going to take anything for granted in the next two stages. I will try to gain from any occasion in the hope that I find a favourable moment," Ganna said.
Quick-Step Floors for Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
The Belgian squad will use the same riders who competed in the Tour Down Under and Toward Zero Melbourne Race: Eros Capecchi, Dries Devenyns, Enric Mas, Michael Mørkøv, Fabio Sabatini, Florian Sénéchal and Viviani.
Viviani has had mixed fortunes in the sprints so far in his Australian campaign - after leaving it late and finishing fourth in the People's Choice Classic and again in the Tour Down Under opening stage, the Italian picked up his first win of the season on stage 3 in Victor Harbor.
In the Melbourne race, Viviani had the placement right but could not get past Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Quick-Step Floors for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: Eros Capecchi, Dries Devenyns, Enric Mas, Michael Mørkøv, Fabio Sabatini, Florian Sénéchal, Elia Viviani.
Canadian road championships relocated to Quebec
The Canadian road championships have been relocated from Kamloops, British Columbia to Saguenay, Quebec after the organisers expected to have "municipal funding and logistical constraints," according to a Cycling Canada press release.
The dates will remain the same, with the racing scheduled for June 21-24 for Elite, Junior and Para racers.
The move is a boon for Saguenay, which saw the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay cancelled earlier this year due to "circumstances out of their control". The same organisation will be running the championships.
"We are happy to work with Cycling Canada on organizing the 2018 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus (Elite/Junior/Para) in Saguenay. Our organizing committee is hard at work making sure that Canada's top cyclists have access to fun and exciting races and enjoy their stay among us in Saguenay," said the co-president of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay, Sébastien Gagnon.
The Para Road Championships will be reintegrated with the rest of the racing after a one-year absence due to the race being held too close to the Para World Cup in Emmen. The Masters championships will still be held in Victoria, BC from June 1-3.
"The decision to relocate the ...championships was not taken lightly, although we are confident that this will provide the best possible outcome for all parties involved," Josh Peacock, Competitions Coordinator at Cycling Canada said. "The organizers at Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay bring a wealth of experience to the organization of this Championship event, and we are excited to continue with the process of delivering this prestigious event in a region that has many years of experience in hosting high-level road cycling events."
USADA announces third amateur cyclist banned
The US Anti-Doping Agency announced the third cycling ban in a month for amateur athletes found in violation of the anti-doping rules. The latest case is of Craig Webb, of Traverse City, MI, who refused to submit to an anti-doping control after finishing as the fastest of his age group in the 2017 Iceman Cometh Challenge.
All licensed members of USA Cycling agree to submit to anti-doping controls as part of the federation's RaceClean programme to increase testing and education at the amateur level.
"Evading sample collection, or refusing or failing to submit to sample collection, without compelling justification, is a doping violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List," the USADA announcement reminds.
The case comes after Jeffery Miller of Louisville, Kentucky, was banned for six years as part of his admission to doping while testifying against his former partner Jenna Blandford.
Despite his testimony coming as retribution for her ending the relationship, Miller was given a reduced ban of four years for "cooperation in an investigation of another athlete", USADA states.
"Miller, 44, voluntarily admitted that, from 2015 to 2016, he possessed and used three prohibited substances: testosterone, human growth hormone (hGH), and oxandrolone," USADA stated.
His band was back-dated to November 15, 2016, the date of his admission.
Last week, USDADA announced a four-year ban for Greenwood Village, Colorado resident Jennifer Schumm, who tested positive for exogenous testosterone in a sample taken on May 28, 2016, at the 2016 Koppenberg Boulder Spring Classic in Superior, Colorado.
Schumm had been prescribed testosterone by her medical provider, but while she knew it was prohibited she failed to declare it on her anti-doping control form or receive a TUE.
Schumm's four-year period of ineligibility began on July 21, 2016, the date she accepted a provisional suspension. In addition, Schumm has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 28, 2016, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.
For more of the Cyclingnews podcast, click here.