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Live coverage

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2017

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the men's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The 174km race has been elevated to WorldTour status from 2017 and is the first one-day event on the top tier of the calendar. For Cyclingnews race preview, click here. And for the start list, click here.

Down on the waterfront, the riders are signing on under blue skies and sunshine 

BMC's Richie Porte, who won Tour Down Under last week, spoke with the host broadcasters at sign on.

"You can see Chris Froome down his starting his season. He's not silly, you need the form all year. For me to start the season in Australia, it's fantastic.

"We'll try and make his [Froome's] legs hurt and it should be a great race."

 

Two riders to have signed on are Aqua Blue Sports' Connor Dunne and Orica-Scott's Esteban Chaves. Possibly the tallest and shortest in the peloton for today's race!

With 2015 champion Gianni Meersman retiring due to heart issues and last year's winner, Team Sky's Peter Kennaugh, starting his season in Europe this year, a new winner is guaranteed later today 

 

In 2017, Velon has partnered with the race and will be bringing data on particular rider power, cadence, heart rate and speed to the TV viewer

 

Team Sky's Chris Froome has signed on. The three-time Tour de France champion is being seen as a favourite for the win today. A proven champion in stage races, Froome is yet to assert his dominance in one-day races but will that change today? We'll soon find out!

 

With the race being elevated to WorldTour status, there are no Continental teams in the peloton. Along with the WorldTour and Pro-Continental squads, a national Australian team is also lining out for the 174km event.

 

The riders are on the start line about to rock'n'roll!

 

We'll hear the national anthem and then it's time to fire the starting pistol and commence the 174km road race

 

Cadel Evans is going to lead the peloton out in the neutral zone before the race gets underway proper. He is wearing black BMC kit with the familiar rainbow bands around the sleeve to signify his 2009 Worlds win

 

Race director Scott Sunderland is about to wave the red flag and start the race proper

 

The riders are moving forward to ensure they are in prime position for an early breakaway attempt

 

174km remaining from 174km

And it's Aqua Blue Sport's Connor Dunne who makes the first attack of the race

 

Alex Porter (Australian National Team), Angel Vicioso (Katusha), and Gazprom-RusVelo's Kirill Sveshnikov have joined Dunne and the quartet look like being given room to enjoy some TV time

 

169km remaining from 174km

The quartet has pulled 51 second out over the peloton who look like giving them an early chance, deciding there are no real threats to the race win

 

It's a busy weekend of racing to close out the month of January. Over in Argentina, Max Richeze won a shortened stage due to the weather with Bauke Mollema holding onto the race lead. You can read the race report by clicking here

 

Meanwhile, in Luxembourg at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, Sanne Cant won her first elite rainbow jersey by beating out Marianne Vos. You can read the race report by clicking here 

There was also the women's race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race yesterday with Annemiek van Vleuten continuing Orica-Scott's dominance over the Australian summer. For the report of a thrilling race, click here

 

165km remaining from 174km

This breakaway has quickly grown its lead to 2:49 minutes over the peloton with the peloton cruising along behind, enjoying an early chat

 

Of the four riders in the breakaway, Alex Porter is the youngest of the quartet at 20 years of age and the third youngest in the race. He won the U23 Australian national criterium title earlier in the month. The track rider is aiming to do more road racing this season and proven his capabilities by making it into this early move.

 

162km remaining from 174km

The break's advantage is ballooning out to almost 4:30 minutes with the peloton sitting up and simply enjoying the beautiful weather around Geelong today

 

While Alexander Porter is the third youngest rider in the race, Ángel Vicioso is the second oldest in the bunch at 39.

 

160km remaining from 174km

The Velon data is telling us that Chris Froome is rolling along at a leisurely speed of 25km/h as the breakaway is now 5:38 minutes ahead of the peloton

 

The 'velon' riders in the race who will be proving all the data for the broadcast are: Richie Porte, Chris Froome, Simon Gerrans, Gianluca Brambilla, Robert Gesink, Alex Howes, Lucas Hamilton, Luke Durbridge, Danny van Poppel, THomas De Gent, Koen De Kort, Michael Storer, Phil Bauhaus and Danilo Wyss

 

In today's race, it's not the overall race winner who will be invited onto the podium with prizes for a sprint classification, KOM classification, and best young rider.

 

The first of two intermediate sprint points comes after 23.9km of racing in Cadel Evans' hometown of Barwon Heads. The second comes after 47.2km in the coastal town of Torquay.

 

There are three climbs where riders can pick up KOM points. The first of those is at Bells Beach, 56.6km into the race, with the second and third coming on the finishing circuit at Challambra Crescent after 121.2km and 141.4km.

 

156km remaining from 174km

The breakaway is now over eight minutes ahead of the peloton

 

Compared to the first two editions of the race when the breakaway was never given more than five minutes, this breakaway is being given a massive lead of 9:53 minutes and continually growing

 

The gap is growing and growing by the metre with the breakaway now at over 10:30 minutes. BMC's Australian champion Miles Scotson has come to the front of the peloton who look to have decided they need to keep this breakaway in check

 

151km remaining from 174km

We are hearing over the TV commentary via Robbie McEwen that Alex Porter has been instructed to chase the intermediate sprint points and secure the points jersey

 

150km remaining from 174km

The breakaway is about to contest the sprint point with three points for the winner

 

Connor Dunne took an inside line to make an early attack but Alex Porter chases down Irishman just before the line to take the three points

 

Confirmation of that first intermediate sprint: 1st, Alex Porter (Australian National Team) 3 points, 2nd: Connor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sports) 2 points , 3rd: Ángel Vicioso (Katusha) 1 point

 

148km remaining from 174km

Velon's data is showing Richie Porte's speed has upped to 41km/h as his teammate Miles Scotson continues to lead the peloton who are currently 10:30 minutes in arrears

 

146km remaining from 174km

Orica-Scott's Sam Bewley and Bora-Hansgrohe's Michael Kolar are also helping out with the pace making at the head of the peloton who will holding the break at just over 10 minutes

 

Former FDJ rider Kenny Elissonde is racing today with Team Sky after a late-call up to the Tour Down Under. The Frenchman had been training with Chris Froome in Queensland and was called upon to replace the ill Owain Doull in South Australia. He will also line out for Sky at next week's Herald Sun Tour in support of Froome. To read about his move to Sky and early-season ambitions, read out feature on the climber by clicking here

 

145km remaining from 174km

The four leader's are back within ten minutes as the peloton is taking control of the situation on the road and ensuring the breakaway doesn't get too far ahead

 

126 riders signed on for the race today and thus far, we are yet to see a DNF as they will come later in the day when the racing really heats up.

 

133km remaining from 174km

The peloton is continuing to pull this breakaway back into a more comfortable position with 8:18 minutes separating them on the road

 

132km remaining from 174km

Slight winds out on the road have seen the peloton assemble in single file now but no one looks to be too interested in splitting the bunch just yet

 

129km remaining from 174km

The breakaway is working well as they approach the second intermediate sprint point. Porter is surely keen to win again and secure the jersey as long as he finishes the race

 

Approaching the sprint, the breakaway has 7 minutes over the chasing peloton

 

No contest at the sprint as Alex Porter opens his up sprint, checks and sees no-one is chasing and takes it easy over the line to secure the jersey so long as he finishes the race.

 

126km remaining from 174km

Taking the points behind Porter at the intermediate sprint were Dunne and Vicioso

 

122km remaining from 174km

Back in the bunch, the Velon data has a mix of live speeds with the likes of Alex Howes are up and over 50km/h, while Robert Gesink is cruising at 26km/h

 

122km remaining from 174km

The breakaway are now onto the rolling roads of the course as they leave the coast behind for now and head inland

 

120km remaining from 174km

The four-man breakaway is back to within 5:30 minutes of the peloton with Kolar, Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data), Scotson, and Bewley all contributing to the pace making in the bunch

 

118km remaining from 174km

The breakaway is approaching the first KOM at Bells Beach and are working well with no sign of a rider chasing the points just yet. Behind, the peloton is cruising along five minutes in arrears.

 

It was Ángel Vicioso taking the honours at the KOM, making his move just under 100m before the summit to take the points

 

116km remaining from 174km

Behind Vicioso, it was Sveshnikov taking two points and Dunne taking the final point on offer.

 

In case you were wondering what the parcours looks like for today's race, here is the 2017 race map

 

At the Tour Down Under last week, Cyclingnews editor in chief Daniel Benson sat down with Bahrain-Merida's Jani Brajkovic with the interview becoming a special edition of our regular podcast. You can listen to the podcast and subscribe by clicking here

 

112km remaining from 174km

Australian champion Miles Scotson is back at the front of the peloton doing his job for BMC and team leader Richie Porte with the breakaway now at 4:49 minutes ahead

 

108km remaining from 174km

Angel Vicioso is the man at the head of the breakaway setting the pace at the moment with the gap down to 4:43 minutes

 

A lot is being made of the race outcome today and the possibility of a 'Tour de France' podium with Chris Froome, Richie Porte, and Esteban Chaves all in contention for the win in Australia and later in the year in France. We'll wait and see if that play out today but Orica-Scott are yet to confirm who will lead its team in July with the Yates brothers also in contention along with Chaves.

 

105km remaining from 174km

The peloton is lined out in single file but with no wind it's not as hard as the previous two editions of the race. It is looking like the fireworks will be saved for the three circuits around Geelong with the breakaway at 4:35 minutes in front

 

Simon Gerrans is one rider who is in contention for the victory. Should he win the race today he would complete a 'clean sweep' of the major Australian races in January having previously won the national titles, Tour Down Under and Jayco Herald Sun Tour. If he wins, he would also be the first Australian to win the race after a Belgian in 2015 (Meersman) and Manx man in 2016 (Kennaugh). 

 

100km remaining from 174km

74km done and 100km to race! The four-man breakaway is currently 4:05 minutes ahead

 

97km remaining from 174km

The breakaway's advantage is back under four minutes with Miles Scotson continuing to do the job at the head of the peloton.

 

The Dimension Data team, who are backing Nathan Haas for the victory, have come forward to help out with the pace making as the peloton approaches the feed zone

 

91km remaining from 174km

It's Connor Dunne's turn to set the pace at the head of the breakaway who are leading by 4:35 minutes with the peloton picking up lunch via the food zone

 

Team Sunweb's Australian Neo-pro Chris Hamilton had a few words to say this morning about how he sees the race playing out.

"I think it's all going to come down to the last three circuits. We've got quite a steep KOM climb about half way through. It's only 500m or about 700m long, but it's very steep at the top. If you're slightly fatigued and you're not going to be able to go with a max effort towards the end of the race, you won't be there at the finish I don't think."

 

86km remaining from 174km

It appears the peloton has decided the four-minute mark is the magic number to ensure the race stays together before the circuits where the attacks and moves are sure to come thick and fast. However, the breakaway is keen to build their lead and are adding a few seconds here and there when possible

For those of you unsure of how many WorldTour points are on offer for the winner, it's 300. Second place will receive 250, and 215 for the third place finisher. BMC's Richie Porte currently leads the individual standings on 660 points.

 

83km remaining from 174km

The peloton is rolling along together at a cruisy pace at the moment with the breakaway now out to almost five minutes. The peloton doesn't want to make the catch any earlier than needed

 

81km remaining from 174km

Miles Scotson has dropped back to the team car to pick up some bidons and is now back at the head of the race handing out water and helping Orica-Scott set the pace

 

76km remaining from 174km

The four-man breakaway is approaching the outskirts of Geelong to start the three circuits of 26km in length

 

74km remaining from 174km

The four-man break is now on the circuit into Geelong and has a fast descent into the waterfront where they will pass under the start/finish line gantry

 

The likes of Lotto Soudal, UnitedHealthcare and Cannondale-Drapac are moving forward at the head of the peloton in anticipation of the arrival into Geelong.

 

72km remaining from 174km

The peloton has the breakaway within 3:35 minutes now with the key riders all wanting to be in position for the first climb on the circuit

 

Velon have created a fly over video of the circuits in Geelong. Watch the video below to see what awaits the riders!

 

67km remaining from 174km

The breakaway's advantage is being slowly cut down and the four-leader's have an advantage of 2:30 minutes. 

66km remaining from 174km

The climbers are moving forward in the peloton but its still BMC and Orica who are controlling the pace and holding the breakaway at 2:30 minutes 

65km remaining from 174km

A move from Damiano Caurso sees the Italian create a gap at the head of the peloton and trim the breakaway's advantage to 1:40 minutes

 

63km remaining from 174km

Jai HIndley (Australia) and Chris Hamilton (Sunweb)  are two more riders keen to test their legs with a split occurring at the head of the peloton as a result

 

62km remaining from 174km

Calvin Watson (Aqua Blue Sports) has decided to attack from the bunch which is now back together. The breakaway's lead is continuing to drop as a result from the moves in the peloton. This race is coming alive

 

60km remaining from 174km

The four men of the breakaway will cross under the start/finish line with Porter leading them over

 

59km remaining from 174km

The peloton now also crosses the line to start the three laps of Geelong with just over one minute between them and the quartet

 

58km remaining from 174km

Confusion in the breakaway as one of the car drivers leads the riders off course

 

57km remaining from 174km

Angel Vicioso  is willing this breakaway on to contest for the KOM points, including pushing Gazprom-RusVelo's Kirill Sveshnikov for a few metres. They have just over one minute following that wrong turn

 

56km remaining from 174km

It's all Bora at the head of the now as they approach Challambra Crescent for the first time

 

The high pace from Bora is seeing the gap to the breakaway drop to just 40 seconds with further selection expected up Challambra Crescent

 

53km remaining from 174km

Gazprom-RusVelo's Kirill Sveshnikov has been dropped with three men now leading the race

 

53km remaining from 174km

At the top of the climb, it's Dunne who takes the maximum points, followed by Porter as Vicioso cracks and crosses over in third.

 

52km remaining from 174km

The breakaway is down to Dunne and Porter now with the peloton at 25 seconds

 

Danny van Poppel is making a move from the peloton for Sky as the big teams start to show their hands with AG2R joining in

 

Francois Bidard has joined van Poppel in the chase for the breakaway

 

50km remaining from 174km

This race is starting to come alive for sure now with riders comparatively fresher on the circuits than the previous two years but it's far from easy! There are no gifts in pro cycling as they say

 

Quick-Step Floors have decided to join in at the head of the race now

 

A long single file peloton is chasing down this two-man breakaway but it's still a tactical affair

48km remaining from 174km

Cameron Bayly (Kordamentha Australia) is having a go, attacking off the front

 

Bayly's teammate Porter is still leading the race with Dunne but their advantage is just in the seconds for now with everyone in sight of each other

 

Bayly's move has died off and the peloton has decided to let this move of Porter and Dunne exist for just a few more kilometres. They now have 30 odd seconds

 

Aqua Blue Sport's Calvin Watson decides to follow in the footsteps of Bayly and join his teammate at the head of the race but he's hanging in no man's land for the moment

 

41km remaining from 174km

Porter and Dunne are leading by 40 seconds as they come in sight of the start/finish line once again

 

40km remaining from 174km

Watson is 30 seconds behind the two leaders as he passes under the start/finish line with the peloton sitting back for now at 1:07 minutes

 

39km remaining from 174km

The peloton looks like extending the life of this breakaway for now with more moves expected to come on the climbs

 

37km remaining from 174km

Watson has made contact and it's now the Australian with teammate Dunne and Porter who lead the race

 

This is Watson's first race, and Aqua Blue Sports, with the Victorian heading to the Herald Sun Tour next week. A race he won in 2013 that secured a two-year deal with Trek. He moved to Chain Reaction last year before joining the Irish Pro-Continental squad for its maiden season in the pro peloton. He is certainly showing his form and motivation after a long off season

 

36km remaining from 174km

BMC and Sky have made their moves and the three leaders are now just 33 seconds ahead

 

34km remaining from 174km

The full BMC team, with Fran Ventoso, is leading the race at the moment, making its intentions clear that they believe Porte can win this race

 

33km remaining from 174km

This second ascent of Challambra Crescent offers the final KOM points of the race. If Dunne can score points, the jersey is his

 

33km remaining from 174km

Now it's Team Sky who are taking over and setting the high pace to set things up for Chris Froome

 

33km remaining from 174km

The 22% maximum gradient Challambra Crescent climb should witness the end of the breakaway

 

32km remaining from 174km

Sebastián Henao is making the pace and hurting plenty of legs second time up this climb

31km remaining from 174km

Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) has joined Henao at the head of the race and the duo are driving it down the fast descent

 

31km remaining from 174km

The peloton felt that ascent of Challambra Crescent with plenty of riders losing contact. There will be a regrouping on this descent

 

29km remaining from 174km

Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott) and Rohan Dennis (BMC) have joined Henao and Woods to form a very dangerous front group and ensure the pressure is on the likes of Dimension Data to chase

 

29km remaining from 174km

The new four man breakaway has pulled 25 seconds out on the chasing peloton and are working well together so far

 

27km remaining from 174km

There is a bit of hesitation now in this breakaway as the quartet get aero on the top tubes 22 seconds ahead of the peloton

 

Inside 30km to go and it appears all 126 starters are still in the race but are spread across several kilometres

 

24km remaining from 174km

Jhonatan Restrepo has bridged to make it a five-man break but the peloton is just seconds behind

 

Sebastián Henao loses a front wheel and comes down in a crash

 

21km remaining from 174km

The attacks are coming thick and fast now

 

With a big group all together, the climbers need to make this final lap hard to shell the likes of a Gerrans, Haas and McCarthy

 

20km remaining from 174km

Lachlan Morton leads through for the bell lap by the way

 

18km remaining from 174km

Jesper Asselman has initiated an attack at the head of the race

 

18km remaining from 174km

Joining Jesper Asselman is Mads Pedersen, Koen de Kort and Maurits Lammertink also up there as Damien Howson chases them down.

 

17km remaining from 174km

Despite this flurry of attacks, this peloton is still rather large with a tactical finale assured

 

16km remaining from 174km

Mads Pedersen decides to go solo now and gets a gap on the chasers

 

15km remaining from 174km

AG2R-La Mondiale's Bidard has joined Pedersen with Katusha-Alpecin's Lammertink also helping out and building a five second lead

 

14km remaining from 174km

Inside 15km to go and it's looking like the finale is going to suit a reduced bunch sprint unless the riders go bananas up Challambra.

 

14km remaining from 174km

LottoNL-Jumbo and Miles Scotson are setting the pace now and ensuring a hard entry onto Challambra.

 

13km remaining from 174km

Team Sunweb now want a piece of the action ahead of the Challambra climb

 

12km remaining from 174km

Kenny Elissonde is the first rider to attack

 

12km remaining from 174km

Kenny Elissonde looking relaxed and in control as he is riding away from the peloton. No real reaction here yet

 

12km remaining from 174km

It is coming back together now with Kenny Elissonde caught just over the summit. Sprint finish looking more and more likely

 

11km remaining from 174km

Team Sky are doing the damage at the head of the race to cause a minor split but it's still a big group

 

11km remaining from 174km

Team Sky are doing the damage at the head of the race to cause a minor split but it's still a big group

 

11km remaining from 174km

Team Sky are doing the damage at the head of the race to cause a minor split but it's still a big group

 

11km remaining from 174km

Team Sky are doing the damage at the head of the race to cause a minor split but it's still a big group

 

 

 

 

 Jan Bakelants takes tumble around the roundabout and crashes to cause a split

165km remaining from 174km

Esteban Chaves, Sergio Henao and Nathan Haas  attack and now lead 

 

8km remaining from 174km

Richie Porte and a few others have bridged across to this group. Jack Bauer and Lucas Hamilton look to be there

 

Nathan Haas packs a dangerous sprint and will like his chances from here but the peloton is coming back together now

 

7km remaining from 174km

A new group of three is attacking off the front now with Nathan Haas, Rafa Valls and Bauer there with him

 

It's Dries Devenyns not Bauer from Quick-Step Floors sorry

 

6km remaining from 174km

Haas is in the box seat at the moment but anything can still happen with just over 6km to go

 

5km remaining from 174km

Richie Porte is making a move and is closing down this gap with Froome on his wheel

 

5km remaining from 174km

It's all back together now at the front of the race. Unless someone takes a late flyer, it's looking like a bunch sprint finish finale

 

5km remaining from 174km

Chris Froome is making a late move here with Haas all over it

 

5km remaining from 174km

Valls and Gesink are joining in his Froome and Haas move

 

5km remaining from 174km

Inside the finale five km and Porte is launching a late flyer on the flat!

 

4km remaining from 174km

Porte is a national time trial champion so he could hold on here even though he prefers the hills over the flats

 

3km remaining from 174km

Miles Scotson took a late flyer to win the Australian nationals earlier this month, an inspiration for Porte today?

 

2km remaining from 174km

There was a brief look over the shoulder from Porte as the peloton is unsure about to chase and get organises

 

2km remaining from 174km

Porte is looking good and strong here with the peloton chasing hard 

 

173km remaining from 174km

Inside two km to go now and Porte is just hanging by a thread!

 

1km remaining from 174km

After that effort, Chris Froome is now off the back but Porte continues to lead

 

1km remaining from 174km

Porte has been caught as Bauer launches an attack

 

1km remaining from 174km

Final kilometre and it's all together for now

 

1km remaining from 174km

Cam Meyer launches an long range attack now

 

1km remaining from 174km

Meyer is going long and he's going to win

 

Photo finish!

 

Nikias Arndt looks like he has won it by mere millimetres with Simon Gerrans taking second and Meyer third

 

What a finish! Cam Meyer went long but just couldn't hold on with Nikias Arndt just getting there in time for the win and Simon Gerrans slipping in for second

 

"No one really had any teammates left so it was a really dicey sprint with everyone ducking for wheels and trying to get out of the wind. Nikias went from a long way out and did the whole sprint in the seat and in the end, I had nothing left and just couldn't get past him," Gerrans said in a flash TV interview.

"It was only in the closing kilometres when I was able to hang onto the closing group. It was a lot of headwind coming into a couple of kays to go so it made it very difficult for a break to stay away and at the pint we thought, yeah I am the best chance."

 

For the race report, results and photos from today, click here 

Having taken until May last year for its first win in the WorldTour, Team Sunweb have enjoyed an early confidence boosting win at the top tier of the sport to close out its Australian racing campaign.

 

For Simon Gerrans and Orica-Scott, they will regroup and head to the Herald Sun Tour next week aiming for victory . It is the final race of a busy start to the season with Orica-Scott then heading to South Africa for a training camp.

 

Cam Meyer will also be heading to the Herald Sun Tour, and like Gerrans is a former winner of the stage race, where he will line out for the national team. After this block of racing, he is likely to head back to the track and target the Worlds but over January he has again proven his value and worth at the top tier of the sport on the road.

 

That's it for now from us, so thank you for joining us and keep clicking back for all the reaction from the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and reports across a busy weekend of racing!

 

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