Caleb Ewan and Gracie Elvin win Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic openers

Ewan easily outsprints Jones and Shaw to stage one win

Overwhelmingly outnumbered but certainly not outclassed, two-time Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic overall winner Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) handily won the first day of the Australian summer of racing on Friday. The 21-year-old launched his sprint with a half-lap remaining on the 750-metre course and comfortably held off his challengers to the line.

“It’s a massive relief,” said Ewan. “I didn’t know what my form was going to be like, especially in a short race like this. I haven’t done an hour-long race since this time last year. It was nice coming here and winning again.”

Avanti IsoWhey Sports used their strength in numbers to repeatedly send riders up the road in an attempt to wear down Ewan’s two-man team. Jack Haig, in his debut for Australia’s WorldTour team, was a frequent figure on the front, shutting down each and every threat.

“It was always going to be small team today,” said Ewan. “It was always going to be hard. When Alex [Edmondson’s] bike broke, it turned out to be just me and Jack, which was going to make it even harder.”

“Jack was so impressive today,” Ewan added. “Without him, I couldn’t have won.”

A crash in the second half of the race split the peloton, with a group of 14 making the front-group selection. As the laps ticked down, a handful of riders were able to rejoin the field, and 19 riders contested the sprint.

With three laps remaining, Robbie Hucker (Avanti IsoWhey Sports), who was in the race’s longest-standing breakaway during the first half of the race, went on the attack again. Hucker rejoined the reduced field before the start of the penultimate lap, and Pat Lane (Avanti IsoWhey Sports) led across the finish. The field reshuffled before the bell lap with Drapac’s Bernie Sulzberger leading Shaw to the front.

“I’ve been sprinting a lot in training, so I knew my sprint was going alright,” said Ewan. “I was a bit further back than I wanted to be with one lap to go, so I hit out early, but I’ve hit out from over a lap to go here before, so I knew I was capable of doing that. That’s what I did, and it worked out ok.”

Ewan heads into the second stage of the four-day series with a two-point lead over Jones on the general classification. Shaw sits third overall, four points down.

“It wasn’t a massive goal to come here and win anything,” said Ewan. “It’s more to build me up for Nationals and Tour Down Under. I’ve got so much racing on this summer that I don’t really want to peak here. Obviously I’d like to win as much as I can, but there’s not pressure for me to do what I did last year.”

Gracie Elvin wins Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic opener

Two-time former Australian road champion Gracie Elvin took a surprise victory on day one of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic on Friday. Elvin edged out teammate Lizzie Williams and reigning Australian National Criterium Champion Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team) in a bunch sprint following 45 minutes of racing around the hot dog circuit on Richie Boulevard.

“I wasn’t expecting it actually,” said Elvin. “I’ve just done a whole lot of volume. I haven’t done a ton of intensity. I was hoping today to wind up the legs for Nationals. I was actually riding lead-out today for one of my teammates.”

While notoriously hot and humid during the four-day series, the field set off in mild summer weather with gusts of wind coming off the bay and temperatures just above 20 degrees. Quick off the line, the peloton maintained a high speed during the opening laps until a crash in corner one caused a temporary neutralisation.

Elvin’s Australian-registered team was in control of the race from start to finish with riders on the front of the bunch on nearly every lap of the 750-metre bayside course. ORICA-AIS teammates Chloe McConville and Amanda Spratt covered attacks from Japan’s Novotel Geelong team and the Alé Cycling composite team featuring Cylance rider Valentina Scandolara.

“Sometimes we come into racing a bit nervous because everyone looks to us to make the race,” Elvin noted. “Today we were looking to sit back a little bit and see how things played out and use our numbers toward the end. We did that pretty well. That’s great practice for the racing coming up in Australia and also in Europe.”

Despite efforts to get a break up the road, no rider or group of riders managed to open a sizeable gap. While the front of the race remained intact, high speeds caused riders to drop off the back of the bunch. In the final five laps, only 19 riders remained in the field.

“I was trying to set up Sarah Roy at the end,” said Elvin. “She was going really well today. I do feel a little bit bad about sprinting to the line and not having her come past me.”

“The last corner is always pretty dangerous,” Elvin added. “Our plans didn’t change. I just saw a good moment, and I thought I’d take her with me. The line just wasn’t long enough away.”

Elvin heads into the second day of racing with a two-point lead over Williams and a four-point lead over Wells. Insisting that her team’s priority is stage wins rather than the overall classification, Elvin, who won stage two solo last season, says she doesn’t expect the team will race for her tomorrow.

“We’re just going day-by-day,” said Elvin. “We’re using Bay Crits to show off our sponsors, like we always do, but also for a bit of race fitness going into Nationals. We’re probably not going to be thinking about the overall until the last two days. We’re just going for the stage wins. We’re off to a good start.”

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge)0:59:02 
2Brenton Jones (Drapac Professional)  
3Patrick Shaw (Avanti Isowhey Sports)  
4Luke Parker (State Of Matter/Maap)  
5Christopher Lawless (Jlt Condor Mavic)  
6Kazushige Kuboki (Novotel Geelong/Japan)0:00:03 
7Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)  
8Jordan Kerby (Drapac Professional)  
9Joshua Taylor (State Of Matter/Maap)  
10Leigh Howard (Chain Reaction Cycles)0:00:11 
11Zane Hunter (Physiohealth Focus)  
12Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)0:00:12 
13Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEdge)  
14Chris Hamilton (Avanti Isowhey Sports)  
15Samuel Witmitz (Budget Forklifts)0:00:24 
16Sam Crome (Avanti Isowhey Sports)0:00:26 
17Alistair Slater (Jlt Condor Mavic)  
18Alexander Smyth (State Of Matter/Maap)  
19Patrick Lane (Avanti Isowhey Sports)  
DNFPeter Koning (Drapac Professional)  
DNFJason Lowndes (Drapac Professional)  
DNFEiya Hashimoto (Novotel Geelong/Japan)  
DNFShogo Ichimaru (Novotel Geelong/Japan)  
DNFRyo Chikatani (Novotel Geelong/Japan)  
DNFTaisei Kobayashi (Novotel Geelong/Japan)  
DNFSteele Von Hoff (Avanti Isowhey Sports)  
DNFJacob Kauffmann (Budget Forklifts)  
DNFStefan Matzner (Budget Forklifts)  
DNFJonathan Mould (Jlt Condor Mavic)  
DNFGeorge Atkins (Jlt Condor Mavic)  
DNFAlex Frame (Jlt Condor Mavic)  
DNFSteven Lampier (Jlt Condor Mavic)  
DNFAaron Gate (Chain Reaction Cycles)  
DNFReece Robinson (Chain Reaction Cycles)  
DNFJoel Walsh (Chain Reaction Cycles)  
DNFCaiden Hull (Chain Reaction Cycles)  
DNFHarry Sweeny (State Of Matter/Maap)  
DNFMike Cumming (State Of Matter/Maap)  
DNFChris Harper (State Of Matter/Maap)  
DNFTyler Spurrell (Vtwo)  
DNFJames Cummings (Vtwo)  
DNFNathan Wood (Vtwo)  
DNFSamuel Lane (Vtwo)  
DNFCallan Douglas (Vtwo)  
DNFRussell Gill (Physiohealth Focus)  
DNFAndreas Müller (Physiohealth Focus)  
DNFTom Chapman (Physiohealth Focus)  
DNFEvan Hull (Physiohealth Focus)  
DNFMitchell Dedman (Physiohealth Focus)  
DNFKane Walker (Pat's Veg)  
DNFSam Evans (Pat's Veg)  
DNFPeter Johnstone (Pat's Veg)  
DNFCyrus Monk (Pat's Veg)  
DNFMichael Rice (Oliver's Real Food)  
DNFSean Whitfield (Oliver's Real Food)  
DNFLachlan Glasspool (Oliver's Real Food)  
DNFKarl Michelin-Beard (Oliver's Real Food)  
DNFBrad Davies (Oliver's Real Food)  
Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)3 pts
2Chris Harper (State Of Matter/Maap)2 
3Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)1 
Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)3 pts
2Peter Koning (Drapac Professional)2 
3Jack Haig (Orica Greenedge)1 
Sprint 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexander Smyth (State Of Matter/Maap)3 pts
2Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)2 
3Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEdge)1 
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge)12 pts
2Brenton Jones (Drapac Professional)10 
3Patrick Shaw (Avanti Isowhey Sports)8 
4Luke Parker (State Of Matter/Maap)7 
5Christopher Lawless (Jlt Condor Mavic)6 
6Kazushige Kuboki (Novotel Geelong/Japan)5 
7Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)4 
8Jordan Kerby (Drapac Professional)3 
9Joshua Taylor (State Of Matter/Maap)2 
10Leigh Howard (Chain Reaction Cycles)1 
Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)8 pts
2Alexander Smyth (State Of Matter/Maap)3 
3Peter Koning (Drapac Professional)2 
3Chris Harper (State Of Matter/Maap)2 
5Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEdge)2 
6Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)1 
Team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Drapac Professional17 pts
3State Of Matter/Maap9 
4Avanti Isowhey Sports8 
5Jlt Condor Mavic6 
6Novotel Geelong/Japan5 
7Chain Reaction Cycles1 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS)0:44:31 
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)  
3Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)  
4Peta Mullens  
5Valentina Scandolara (Alé Cycling)  
6Sarah Roy (Orica-AIS)  
7Julie Leth (Alé Cycling)  
8Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS)  
9Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)  
10Nakamura Kisato (Novotel Geelong/Japan)  
11Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)  
12Sophie Mackay (Specialized Securitor)  
13Shannon Malseed (Alé Cycling)0:00:05 
14Julia Kalotas (Chain Reaction Womens Team)  
15Elizabeth Doueal (Specialized Securitor)  
16Esther Borg (Chain Reaction Womens Team)0:00:09 
17Emma Viotto (Bikebug-Nextgen)  
18Brodie Chapman (Chain Reaction Womens Team)  
19Chloe Mcconville (Orica-AIS)  
20Liza Rachetto (Specialized Securitor)0:00:21 
21Uwano Minami (Novotel Geelong/Japan)0:00:31 
22Tsukagoshi Sakura (Novotel Geelong/Japan)  
DNFJessica Allen (High5 Dream Team)  
DNFSamantha De Riter (High5 Dream Team)  
DNFGaby Leveridge (Total Rush Hyster)  
DNFRose Osborne (Total Rush Hyster)  
DNFIone Johnson (Total Rush Hyster)  
DNFMikayla Harvey (Total Rush Hyster)  
DNFNicole Whitburn (Alé Cycling)  
DNFPrudence Rothwell (Bikebug-Nextgen)  
DNFTayla Evans (Bikebug-Nextgen)  
DNFKajihara Yumi (Novotel Geelong/Japan)  
DNFMadeleine Steele (Chain Reaction Womens Team)  
DNFJenny Macpherson (Chain Reaction Womens Team)  
DNFVerita Stewart (Specialized Securitor)  
DNFJasmine Mcmillan (Specialized Securitor)  
DNFCarina Newman  
DNFJosie Aitken  
Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)3 pts
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)2 
3Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)1 
Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)3 pts
2Tsukagoshi Sakura (Novotel Geelong/Japan)2 
3Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)1 
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS)12 pts
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)10 
3Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)8 
4Peta Mullens7 
5Valentina Scandolara (Alé Cycling)6 
6Sarah Roy (Orica-AIS)5 
7Julie Leth (Alé Cycling)4 
8Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS)3 
9Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)2 
10Nakamura Kisato (Novotel Geelong/Japan)1 
Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)6 pts
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)2 
3Tsukagoshi Sakura (Novotel Geelong/Japan)2 
4Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)1 
5Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)1 
Team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Orica-AIS27 pts
2Alé Cycling10 
3High5 Dream Team8 
5Novotel Geelong/Japan1 

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