Belgium's Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep) won the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Geelong, Australia, on Sunday, beating Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) in a two-man sprint after the pair had escaped from a larger group in the final few kilometres of the 171km race.
Daryl Impey led the remainder of the group home to take third place after his Mitchelton-Scott teammates had made what proved to be the decisive move of 17 riders on the descent off the Challambra Crescent climb with a lap-and-a-half of the 16.6km finishing circuit in Geelong to go.
Sivakov attacked with 5km left to race, and only Devenyns was capable of chasing, and finally catching, the Russian rider, while Impey, Jens Keukeleire (EF Pro Cycling) and Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) gave chase, although it was Impey doing the bulk of the effort, as Sivakov's Ineos teammate Dylan van Baarle sat on the back of the chase group.
It was Devenyns who opened the sprint with a couple of hundred metres to go, and although Sivakov reacted, he couldn't get back on terms, and finished a couple of bike lengths behind.
"It was aggressive all day," said Devenyns after his win. "Mitchelton had five riders in that group at the end, and Ineos had two riders, so I was on my own, but I had good legs, and I played my card.
"Of course, I had doubts about reaching Sivakov when he attacked near the end. But when I did, we worked a little bit together, and then I had no idea how good he was in a sprint, but I had a good enough punch," he said.
How it unfolded
Sunday dawned with much more pleasant weather than the elite women's race had endured the day before, and the men's race was aggressive from the gun, with three members of the Kordamentha Australian National Team – Connor Leahy, Rudy Porter and Carter Turnbull – making an early move.
The trio built up a lead of almost a minute, but it then dropped rapidly when Team Ineos came to the front of the bunch in the blustery conditions to try to split the race apart early on the southerly run down to Barwon Heads on the coast.
The British WorldTour team's efforts worked, too, with the likes of defending champion Elia Viviani (Cofidis) and Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates missing from the bunch, which was reduced to around 80 or 90 riders, which forged almost a minute's gap over the chasers.
The activity served to end the three-man breakaway's effort, but the block headwind along the coast slowed the lead group's push, and the chase group was able to get back on terms, with calm then restored once more.
With 140km still to go, it was the cue for Turnbull to escape again, this time with Kordamentha Australia teammate Elliot Schultz, and they were allowed to build up a lead that peaked at six minutes with 100km left to race.
As the race made its way inland again towards Geelong, the likes of Deceuninck-QuickStep, Israel Start-Up Nation and Lotto Soudal – the sprinters' teams – decided that it was time to start reducing the breakaway riders' lead, and they were joined by riders from Team Ineos, Bora-Hansgrohe and Cofidis.
It was Ineos, in particular, who tightened the screw once more to try to shell some of the favourites, but the likes of Viviani, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) remained attentive at the front of the bunch.
The peloton closed to within 10 seconds of the breakaway duo, but then took its foot off the accelerator again, and Turnbull and Schultz were allowed to lead the race onto the first climb of Challambra Crescent on the first of the three-and-a-half, 16.6km finishing circuits.
The bunch continued to shell tired riders out of the back over the climb – just 840 metres in length, but with sections close to the top that reach a 20 per cent gradient – and it was all over for Schultz at the front as the two Australian riders approached Challambra for the second of four ascents.
Five riders emerged from the bunch going across the top – Jonas Rutsch (EF Pro Cycling), Falian Lienhard (Groupama-FDJ), Israel Start-Up Nation’s Alexander Cataford, Trek-Segafredo’s Kiel Reijnen and AG2R’s Geoffrey Bouchard – and caught Turnbull on the descent, with the 19-year-old doing well to cling on to the back of the new lead group.
The six riders survived until the penultimate climb up Challambra Crescent, where they were caught by the chasing group, and it was going over the top and onto the descent that Mitchelton-Scott chose to turn the screw, instigating a 17-rider move.
Nick Schultz, Damien Howson and Dion Smith did all the work for Mitchelton at the front of the group for the team's two leaders, Simon Yates and Daryl Impey, for the next lap, and on the final time up the Challambra climb, Yates attacked – as expected, allowing Impey to simply follow the other wheels – and was followed by Sivakov.
Ewan, Viviani and the defending champion's Cofidis teammate Nathan Haas had made it into the lead group, but they were left behind going over the top of the climb as Jens Keukeleire (EF Pro Cycling), Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Impey made up the chase group on the descent.
The six riders came together again, but on the next rise of Melville Avenue – where Sunweb's Liane Lippert had attacked to win the women's race the day before – Sivakov made the decisive attack, and only Devenyns could follow, with the latter coming out on top on the line.
"It was a tough day, but we'd never really planned to go like that from the start," Sivakov said of his Ineos team's efforts to split the race apart early on.
"We did some damage and put people under pressure, and we wanted to try to get rid of the sprinters, but they're some of the best guys in the crosswinds.
"I'm happy to have come second, but am of course disappointed not to win. But chapeau to Dries," he said.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep||4:05:49|
|2||Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos|
|3||Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:04|
|4||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Pro Cycling|
|5||Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Ineos|
|6||Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|7||Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal||0:00:25|
|8||Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain McLaren|
|9||Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis|
|10||Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott|
|11||Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren||0:00:25|
|12||Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis||0:00:30|
|13||Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:00:50|
|14||Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling|
|15||Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) EF Pro Cycling|
|16||Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo|
|17||Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis|
|18||Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|19||Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R la Mondiale|
|20||Francisco Ventoso (Spa) CCC Team|
|21||Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|22||Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|23||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain McLaren|
|24||Owain Doull (GBr) Team Ineos|
|25||Joseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team|
|26||Robert Power (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|27||Clément Chevrier (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale|
|28||Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal|
|29||Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R la Mondiale|
|30||Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R la Mondiale|
|31||Luca Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren|
|32||Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo|
|33||Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo|
|34||Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|35||Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|36||Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ|
|37||Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling|
|38||Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:58|
|39||Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|40||Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team||0:01:06|
|41||Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Pro Cycling||0:01:19|
|42||Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:01:33|
|43||André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:01:37|
|44||Max Kanter (Ger) Team Sunweb|
|45||Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale|
|46||Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|47||Ayden Toovey (Aus) Kordamentha Australian National Team|
|48||Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|49||Stefan de Bod (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling|
|50||Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|51||Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|52||Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|53||João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|54||Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:02:36|
|55||Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling|
|56||Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb||0:03:10|
|57||Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Ineos||0:03:20|
|58||Florian Stork (Ger) Team Sunweb|
|59||Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo|
|60||Tosh van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:04:13|
|61||Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal|
|62||Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis|
|63||Rudy Porter (Aus) Kordamentha Australian National Team||0:04:36|
|64||Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Pro Cycling||0:05:43|
|65||Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal|
|66||Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Lotto Soudal||0:05:53|
|67||Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|68||Danilo Wyss (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling|
|69||Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team|
|70||Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott|
|71||Carter Turnbull (Aus) Kordamentha Australian National Team||0:06:55|
|72||Nicholas White (Aus) Kordamentha Australian National Team|
|73||Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo|
|74||Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|75||Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC Team|
|76||Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|77||Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo|
|78||Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo|
|79||Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|80||Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Pro Cycling|
|81||Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|82||Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling|
|83||Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ|
|84||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|85||Rasmus Tiller (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling||0:10:03|
|86||Samuele Battistella (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling|
|87||Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cofidis||0:11:55|
|88||Tom Scully (NZl) EF Pro Cycling||0:12:03|
|89||Christopher Lawless (GBr) Team Ineos|
|90||Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|91||Shane Archbold (NZl) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|92||Martin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|93||Connor Leahy (Aus) Kordamentha Australian National Team|
|94||Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis|
|95||Mathias le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis|
|DNF||Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Ineos|
|DNF||Cameron Wurf (Aus) Team Ineos|
|DNF||Thomas de Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Samuel Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott|
|DNF||Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain McLaren|
|DNF||Chun-Kai Feng (Chn) Bahrain McLaren|
|DNF||Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ|
|DNF||Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|DNF||Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team Sunweb|
|DNF||Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb|
|DNF||Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Bel) CCC Team|
|DNF||Elliot Schultz (Aus) Kordamentha Australian National Team|
|DNF||Blake Quick (Aus) Kordamentha Australian National Team|
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