Simon Gerrans is set to lead BMC Racing Team at this weekend’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The 37-year-old has a good record at the one-day event, finishing fifth on his debut in 2016 and taking second behind Team Sunweb’s Nikias Arndt last year.
Gerrans, who moved to BMC Racing over the winter, is expecting a very selective race, which he believes will work in his favour as he aims to go one better this time out.
"I really like the course. The first loop we do when we head down towards the Great Ocean Road is quite scenic and a good way to get a few kilometres out of the way," he said in a team press release.
"As we get to the finish circuits it becomes a really selective part where we often see a small group come to the finish. I really like the circuit and I think it suits me well."
BMC Racing will not be relying solely on Gerrans in their hunt for victory, with Tour Down Under runner-up Richie Porte and Australian national time trial champion Rohan Dennis also in the seven-man squad. While the main effort will be behind Gerrans, the team have options for race day and hope to try to take the race to their rivals with Dennis and Porte.
"We have multiple cards to play at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Simon Gerrans will be our protected rider for a sprint finish as last year he was right up there and finished second in the group of 20 or so riders. I expect there to be a selection of 20 to 30 riders there at the finish again this year," said sports director Fabio Baldato.
"With Rohan Dennis and Richie Porte in great shape, we can also go on the offensive and try something different. We will see how the race unfolds and decide which card we want to play on the day. It is good to have so many options as it is a tough course and anything can happen in a one-day race. To win the road race would be a great way to wrap up our Australian season before we head back to Europe, especially with three of Australia's best riders in our team."
The remainder of the line-up will mirror BMC Racing’s Tour Down Under squad, with Miles Scotson, Patrick Bevin, Danilo Wyss, and Tom Bohli joining their teammates in Victoria. The same team, minus Porte, will also compete at the Towards Zero Race Melbourne around the city’s Albert Park Formula 1 circuit this Thursday.
BMC Racing for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: Simon Gerrans, Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis, Miles Scotson, Patrick Bevin, Danilo Wyss, Tom Bohli.