In 2017, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race becomes the first one-day WorldTour race to be held on Australian soil as it joins the Tour Down Under in the top tier calendar of the sport. Starting in 2015 at UCI 1.1 status, the race was elevated to 1.HC in 2016 and for its third year makes the jump right to the top.
The race was created by Cadel Evans who made the first edition of the race the final of his career that included the 2011 Tour de France and 2009 World Championships.
The 174km course starts and finishes in Geelong, the site of the 2010 Worlds, having taken in the Great Ocean road and an inland route back before a circuit of the seaside city. The Queens Park Road, Melville Avenue, and Hyland Street climbs on the circuit are the points of excitement and selection in the finale before the flat finish on the waterfront.
Although it is a WorldTour race, only 13 WorldTour teams will be attendance in 2017 with the UCI announcing that the 18 teams are not obliged to race the 10 news events on the calendar.
For the Beginners' Guide to the Australian racing season, click here.