The third edition of the women's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is shaping up as its best yet with confirmation the race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network, and eight UCI teams will take to the start line on January 28 in Geelong. It is the first time a women's race in Australia will be broadcast live since the 2010 World Championships, also held in Geelong.
"My vision for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road has always included a strong women's race," said Cadel Evans of the 113km race at the announcement on the steps of Victorian Parliament House. "I'm thrilled we are able to provide a highly competitive event that attracts some of the world's top female teams and riders and can't wait to watch the race on 28 January. To have the Deakin University Elite Women's Race broadcast live places us on par with other big women's races such as La Course."
Defending champion Amanda Spratt and Orica-AIS returns for the 2017 edition of the race, with the Australian national champion expressing her delight with the announcement of live broadcast and strong start list.
"I'm excited to be returning to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race to pull on the number one bib and try to defend my title," said Spratt. "It's great to see so many strong teams confirmed for 2017. This will definitely lift the standard of racing but we'll be working hard to continue our winning streak in the event's third year. The race itself is one of the best organised in the world. The course offers up so many possibilities and is a great one for me and the whole ORICA-AIS team. It's a great feeling to be able to race in Australia, the atmosphere coming up the straight being cheered on by an energetic Aussie crowd is amazing."
UCI vice-president Tracey Gaudry was also on hand for the announcement, explaining the depth of teams for 2017 and live coverage will further enhance the reputation of the race.
"The number of women's teams, particularly UCI Women's teams confirmed for the 2017 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is a reflection of the continued exceptional delivery of this world-class event. The Deakin University Elite Women's Race continues to go from strength to strength. In only its second year with UCI 1.2 Classification, the importance of this 1-day 'classic' in the global Women's UCI Road Calendar is confirmed with the confirmation of 10 international teams including eight UCI Women's Teams," Gaudry said. "To have the race broadcast live on free-to-air television for Australian fans, with livestream from the PLUS 7 Live App, is extremely exciting for women's cycling and more broadly for women in sport."
Joining Orica-AIS will be Canyon-SRAM with Australian rider Tiffany Cromwell and Lisa Brennauer to line out for the German team. Former Australian champion Peta Mullens will also be racing in January with her new Hagens Berman Supermint team one of three American squads heading down under. Other riders confirmed by the race to start in January include the Cylance Pro Cycling duo of Danielle King and Kirsten Wild.
UnitedHealthcare, Drops Cycling Team, Ale Cipollini, and Twenty20 presented by Ridebiker are the other UCI teams confirmed for the race. Joining them will be the Dutch Maaslandster Veris CCN International Cycling Team, the New Zealand National Team and four National Road Series (NRS) squads.
Teams for the 2017 women's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race;
Drops Cycling Team
Cylance Pro Cycling
Hagens Berman Supermint
Twenty20 presented by Ridebiker
Maaslandster Veris CCN International Cycling Team
New Zealand National Team National Team
High5 Dream Team
Holden Women's Cycling Team
Rush Women's Cycling Team
Specialized Women's Cycling Team