Following their respective overall victories at the women’s and men’s Tour Down Under, Amanda Spratt and Daryl Impey will lead their Mitchelton-Scott teams at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The women’s race will be held on Saturday and the men's race on Sunday, both in Geelong, Australia.
"The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is one of the most professional one-day races we do in the entire season," Spratt said in a team press release. "The organisation look after all the teams so well and this in combination with the live television coverage and a beautiful course always makes me excited to race."
The women will race for 113km on a course that starts and finishes in Geelong. The route that works its way toward Torquay beach before facing more undulating terrain as the race makes its way back into town. There is the steep Challambra climb on the final finishing lap that gives the race a Classics-style element.
"The course remains the same this year, but even though we know the parcours, the history of this race shows that it can be quite unpredictable," Spratt said. "There have been solo winners, small groups and bigger bunches arriving at the finish line."
The men will race for 163km on a route that includes four ascents of the Challambra climb, all during the final section of the race. The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race has finished in solo breakaways and small sprints. Last year, Impey finished third in a small group sprint behind winner Jay McCarthy and runner-up Elia Viviani.
Impey heads into the race in top form, having won the overall title at the Tour Down Under for second consecutive season.
"The Cadel Road Race is another important race on the calendar, especially for our team, and it is certainly a course I can do well on," he said. "Last year I made a small error in the final which cost me the race, hopefully we can rectify that this year. Tour Down Under has given me great confidence going into this year’s event, so hopefully we can go two spots better this year."
Impey will lead the Mitchelton-Scott men's team that includes Sam Bewley, Luke Durbridge, Alex Edmondson, Lucas Hamilton, Nick Schultz, Callum Scotson, Dion Smith and Robert Stannard.
Spratt will lead the women's roster that includes Jessica Allen, Lucy Kennedy, Sarah Roy, Georgia Williams and Grace Brown, who won a stage at the Women’s Tour Down Under and the Australian time trial title.
"I think we have a strong team that can cover all of those scenarios, so I'm looking forward to playing the game," Spratt said. "I've had a good rest after Tour Down Under, and even though I know my shape is good, I will also be more than happy to work hard to set up one of my teammates for a great result if that’s how it plays out."