Gerrans takes top step on dream podium

Second title for GreenEdge rider with Evans second in thrilling finale

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) outsprinted Cadel Evans (BMC) and Richie Porte (Team Sky) to complete a dream podium in the 183.6km Australian National Road race in Buninyong. In the 18th and final lap having seen what started as a 17-strong-man breakaway finally succumb to the might of Orica-GreenEdge, the crème-de-la-crème of Australian cycling emerged from the peloton on the final ascent of the Mt Buninyong climb. Gerrans' final kick was enough to claim his second green and gold jersey and finish off the Orica-GreenEdge team tactics. The team has now won all three championships that it has contested.

"It's just a huge honour to be crowned Australian champion for the next 12-months and I guess it shows the depth we have in Australian cycling when we have Richie Porte and Cadel Evans standing at my side on the podium. I can’t thank my Orica-GreenEdge teammates enough today, the plan was always to have it together for me in the last lap if the race was any under threat and the guys committed that and brought it back together for me,” Gerrans said following victory.

Despite being the sole BMC rider on the day and placing little expectation upon himself for a good result, Evans showed his racing class in animating the final lap to claim his first podium in a national road race.

"This one was up for grabs like a world championship. I've been second a the Tour de France, second at the worlds [MTB] now second at a national road championships," Evans said after the race.

"It's a jersey or nothing for me, as far as I am concerned. When I say nothing, it's gone better than I expected. But here on my own every move I made there was one or two GreenEdge or Drapac behind me, closing the gap behind me every move I went," Evans said.

"In terms of the quality of racing and so on, it was a little hard in January because when I line up at the world championships – if I line up at the world championships- at the end of the race they are going to be asking me probably what’s the matter with me. It’s a long season for us ahead. That side of things makes it a little difficult but the crowd and so on – the enthusiasm – made it a fantastic race," Evans said on his first national road race since 2005.

The race was billed as potentially being the best Australian men’s national road race ever and it lived up to expectations. Over 20,000 cycling fans were stretched out across the course on a warm Summer’s day to watch the field of 135 riders tackle the 18-laps of a 10.1km circuit around Buninyong.

The men’s 183.6km national road race began with attempts to form the first break of the day. Several riders went off the front causing a minor split in the peloton as Chris Jory (NSW) claimed the first climber's competition points of the race.

A break then formed with 17 riders in it and by lap six the move had a gap of 3:42 over the bunch which was content to let them go. While the break contained some riders more than capable of taking victory, Orica-GreenEdge and Drapac had placed several riders in the tete-de-la-course and so were happy to let Avanti control the chase.

Simon Clarke was the most active in the escape group and he tried several times to distance his companions on the climb. The 17-man group was whittled down slowly with Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) and Steel von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) letting their rivals know that they didn’t need teammates to make it a race.

The group’s lead over the peloton hovered around the three minute mark until lap 14 with Avanti showing off their new team colours but without putting in too much effort as they lead the main bunch around. Lap 15 saw Jack Bobridge (Belkin) try to gain some meters on the peloton up the climb but was brought back while up ahead riders started to feel the effects of a long hot day in the saddle and were swallowed up by the chasers.

Simon Clarke and Will Clarke (Drapac) tried to drop any stragglers from the break on the descent back to the finish line on Lap 16 as the peloton began to reel them in. The front group came back together but its lead was only just over a minute.

Darren Lapthorne then made the move for Drapac the following lap but it was Mark O’Brien (Avanti) who gained the most ground before being swallowed up. Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) put the hammer down and was joined by David Tanner (Belkin) while Gerrans and Evans begun to make their moves on the final climb and with Porte they formed a four-man break.

Gerrans, Evans, Meyer and Porte fought for victory with a flurry of attacks but with three kilometres to race it all came back together. With just under two kilometres left to race, Porte tired his luck knowing that his chance for a win would be via an attack. Meyer having worked for Gerrans, finally sat up.

Gerrans was in prime position for the win with 500 metres to go, ready to launch his trademark sprint finish.

Evans was in third wheel but couldn’t come around Gerrans to take the win and so it was Orica-GreenEdge that celebrated a tactical win over their main rivals Drapac and retained the green and gold jersey for another year.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Gerrans (VIC)4:43:43 
2Cadel Evans (VIC)  
3Richie Porte (Tas)  
4Cameron Meyer (WA)0:05:00 
5Jack Bobridge (SA)0:00:23 
6Darren Lapthorne (VIC)  
7Mark O'Brien (VIC)0:00:29 
8Steele von Hoff (VIC)0:00:48 
9Zakkari Dempster (VIC)  
10David Tanner (VIC)  
11Travis Meyer (WA)  
12Nathan Earle (Tas)  
13Adam Hansen (QLD)  
14William Clarke (Tas)0:01:27 
15Wesley Sulzberger (Tas)  
16Bernard Sulzberger (Tas)  
17Timothy Roe (SA)0:02:29 
18Lachlan Norris (VIC)  
19Simon Clarke (VIC)0:03:07 
20Neil Van Der Ploeg (VIC)0:03:14 
21Eric Sheppard (VIC)  
22Marc Williams (ACT)  
23Nathan Elliott (VIC)  
24Samuel Davis (WA)  
25Michael Fitzgerald (WA)  
26Robbie Hucker (VIC)  
27Mathew Hayman (ACT)  
28Ben Dyball (NSW)0:04:24 
29Chris Jory (NSW)0:05:50 
30Joshua Prete (QLD)0:07:52 
31Malcolm Rudolph (QLD)0:09:24 
32Saxon Irvine (NSW)  
33Jack Anderson (QLD)  
34Jayden Copp (QLD)  
35Jai Crawford (TAS)  
36Matthew Clark (VIC)  
37Adrian Jackson (VIC)  
38Patrick Shaw (VIC)  
39Rhys Gillett (VIC)  
40Benjamin Johnson (QLD)  
41Allan Iacuone (VIC)  
DNFLuke Durbridge (WA)  
DNFDamien Howson (SA)  
DNFMichael Hepburn (QLD)  
DNFMitchell Docker (VIC)  
DNFMatt Goss (Tas)  
DNFMichael Matthews (ACT)  
DNFRohan Dennis (SA)  
DNFJay Mccarthy (QLD)  
DNFJonathan Cantwell (QLD)  
DNFAdam Phelan (ACT)  
DNFThomas Donald (QLD)  
DNFStuart Shaw (ACT)  
DNFTim Guy (NSW)  
DNFJames Hepburn (QLD)  
DNFMichael Gallagher (VIC)  
DNFJacob Kauffmann (NSW)  
DNFMichael Cupitt (ACT)  
DNFBrodie Talbot (NSW)  
DNFTommy Nankervis (VIC)  
DNFSAmuel Witmitz (VIC)  
DNFBlair Windsor (NSW)  
DNFCameron Bayly (SA)  
DNFJarrod Hughes (NSW)  
DNFDaniel Bonello (NSW)  
DNFEdward White (NSW)  
DNFCaleb Jones (NSW)  
DNFDaniel O'Keefe (NSW)  
DNFJoel Strachan (VIC)  
DNFJoshua Taylor (NSW)  
DNFMatt Boys (VIC)  
DNFKyle Bridgwood (QLD)  
DNFDuncan Houston (NSW)  
DNFJosh Berry (NSW)  
DNFEtienne Blumstein-Jones (ACT)  
DNFGraeme Brown (NSW)  
DNFNicholas Squillari (VIC)  
DNFJames Szollosi (QLD)  
DNFCraig Hutton (NSW)  
DNFBenjamin Johnson (VIC)  
DNFAaron Donnelly (NSW)  
DNFAnthony Giacoppo (WA)  
DNFTom Robinson (Tas)  
DNFScott Law (NSW)  
DNFBrenton Jones (VIC)  
DNFStuart Grimsey (VIC)  
DNFWilliam Walker (VIC)  
DNFPatrick Lane (VIC)  
DNFJason Spencer (VIC)  
DNFSteven Waite (VIC)  
DNFDaniel Nelson (VIC)  
DNFJames Rendall (VIC)  
DNFMichael McGee (SA)  
DNFAndrew Ward (VIC)  
DNFJon Houston (VIC)  
DNFJames Mowatt (VIC)  
DNFFrederick Bonail (SA)  
DNFNicholas Wood (SA)  
DNFJonathan Bolton (WA)  
DNFAllan Satchell (VIC)  
DNFBrendan Johnston (ACT)  
DNFBrendan Washington (VIC)  
DNFMark Tupalski (ACT)  
DNFJacob Sutherland (VIC)  
DNFDaniel McConnell (VIC)  
DNFLeo Simmonds (SA)  
DNFDale Grixti (SA)  
DNFPeter Milostic (NSW)  
DNFMichael Freiberg (WA)  
DNFTyson Chambers (VIC)  
DNFMark Fagg (VIC)  
DNFPeter Casey (VIC)  
DNFJohn Kent (VIC)  
DNFLiam Mccarthy (QLD)  
DNFBrent Woodlock (VIC)  
DNFCameron Clamp (VIC)  
DNFAllan Davis (QLD)  
DNFRowan Dever (VIC)  
DNFChris Stack (SA)  
DNFDavid Parker (ACT)  
DNFKane Macri (NSW)  
DNFEwyn Carter (VIC)  
DNFBradley Clark (VIC)  
DNFAndrew Williams (WA)  
DNFDaniel Braunsteins (VIC)  
DNFGerard Wild (NSW)  
DNFAngus Morton (NSW)  
DNFJoel Potter (NSW)  
DNFLauchlan Stewart (VIC)  
DNFTimothy Cameron (ACT)  
DNFMitchell Dedman (VIC)  
DNFTom Leaper (VIC)  
DNFMatthew Lloyd (VIC)  
DNFCalvin Watson (VIC)  
DNFKane Walker (VIC)  
DNSLachlan Morton (NSW)  
DNSThomas Palmer (ACT)  
DNSReece Van Beek (VIC)  
DNSReuben Donati (NSW)  

 

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