Cadel Evans was on hand in Melbourne today for the unveiling of the eponymous Great Ocean Road Race which will be the last of his career. The race, to be held on February 1, has been awarded UCI 1.1 classification with Evans' BMC team confirming its appearance at the event along with Australian WorldTour team Orica-GreenEdge.
"The course was designed along some of my favourite riding routes, in a region that is very special to me," Evans said at the unveiling of the parcours. "It is an honour to welcome not only my fellow professional cyclists but also recreational cyclists and spectators to share the breathtaking scenery of one of my favourite roads in the world."
The race will start and finish in Geelong, the host of the 2010 World Champions, and was co-designed by Evans with former professional Scott Sunderland who expects a compelling day of racing.
"We have created a unique course that pays homage to the Great Ocean Road's breathtaking views, while ensuring riders are challenged by multiple climbs and varying elevation gains," said Sunderland.
The 174km race, inspired by the spring classics, will pass Evans' Australian home-base of Barwon Heads before taking in Thirteenth Beach, Torquay and Bells Beach with the finish on Geelong's waterfront expected to be decided in a bunch sprint.
A women's road race will take place the day before on January 31 over a 113km course that also starts and finishes in Geelong, passing through Barwon Heads, Thirteenth Beach, Torquay, Bells Beach and Moriac.
A people's ride, to be sponsored by Momentum Energy, will also be held on January 31 with two course options – a 107km loop that follows the Elite Men and Women’s races and a shorter 65km circuit.