Fresh off his first WorldTour stage win at the Tour Down Under, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) is now targeting the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday and a hoped-for bunch sprint at the end of the one-day WorldTour race that starts and finishes in Geelong.
Philipsen took out the Tour Down Under stage 5 win in Strathalbyn when Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) was relegated to the back of the bunch after the race jury ruled he had head-butted Philipsen in the closing metres of the 149.5km stage. With Ewan relegated to 83rd place, Philipsen was elevated to the podium's top step ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Danny van Poppel (Jumbo-Visma).
The win was Philipsen's third top-10 finish of the week after he was sixth on stage 1 in Adelaide and sixth on stage 2 in Angaston. Now the 20-year-old is heading to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race with the confidence of a successful WorldTour opener under his belt and the UAE Team Emirates squad lined up for him. He'll be joined in the Australian race by the same six riders who raced with him at the Tour Down Under, namely Sven Erik Bystrøm, Ivo Oliveira, Tadej Pogačar, Jan Polanc, Rory Sutherland and Diego Ulissi.
Since its inception in 2015, the race has been won by Gianni Meersman, Peter Kennaugh, Nikias Arndt and Jay McCarthy. Elia Viviani was runner-up to McCarthy last year. The 163km Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race route climbs the Challambra Crescent four times, reducing the peloton before the finish in Geelong. The race also takes in the Great Ocean Road and 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans' hometown of Barwon Heads.
“The route for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race suits my characteristics,” Philipsen said in a statement released by his team. “It’s new for me, so it’s an unknown, but we are looking to control things and our morale is high. The first week of racing in Australia was great for me. The team was perfect, and we are going to push ourselves to continue this positive trend."
UAE Team Emirates for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: Sven Erik Bystrøm, Ivo Oliveira, Jasper Philipsen, Tadej Pogačar, Jan Polanc, Rory Sutherland, Diego Ulissi