Lippert takes solo victory at women's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) has taken the biggest win of her career so far, winning the Deakin Women's Race – the women's edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, and the first round of the 2020 UCI Women's WorldTour – with a solo attack on the finishing circuit in Geelong, Australia, on Saturday.

Lippert was part of a group of favourites that dropped everyone else on the steep climb of Challambra Crescent, nine kilometres from the line of what was a rain-sodden race.

The former German champion then made another attack on the short climb of Melville Avenue with just under six kilometres to go and held off a chase trio to the line. Last year's winner Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women's Team) won the sprint for second place against Australian road race champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) and Tayler Wiles (Trek-Segafredo), crossing the line 15 seconds behind 22-year-old Lippert.

"I still can't believe it – I've won my first WorldTour race ever," said an overjoyed Lippert in the TV interview after the finish. "Without my team, I couldn't have won. They did a great job, protecting me the whole day and playing an important role in the final. I felt really good, so I attacked on the final uphill and never looked back."

Asked about the race conditions, with the riders having faced heavy rain and wind for most of the 121km race, Lippert said: "We are all used to it, and it was a good factor for us. We made the race hard in the wind, and it was an amazing race by the whole team."

How it unfolded

The first break formed after seven kilometres when Madeline Wright (Roxsolt Attaquer) and Marieke van Witzenburg (Doltcini-Van Eyck) got away. They were caught before the first bonus sprint after 24km, at which point Wright and Silvia Valsecchi (BePink) made another move that was soon joined by Maaike Boogaard (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Minke Bakker (Doltcini-Van Eyck) and French champion Jade Wiel (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope).

Those five riders built an advantage of more than four minutes with 43km to go, when Rally Cycling and Team Sunweb started to chase in earnest in the peloton. As the weather conditions worsened, to the point that the broadcast helicopter was grounded, the two teams worked together to gradually reduce the gap to the break, and brought it down to 1:45 minutes at the 25km-to-go mark.

A big crash with around 20km to go brought down dozens of riders and split the peloton, leaving only some 30 riders to chase. After catching the break, sprinter Chloe Hosking (Rally Cycling) led a brief counter-attack, but at the start of the climb of Challambra Crescent, things were back together. Lippert, Wiles and Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) led the group up the climb, with Chapman taking the 'QOM' points at the top, having reduced the front group to around a dozen riders, which included all the pre-race favourites.

On the final climb of Melville Avenue, Lippert made a strong move, opening a big gap and defending it to the finish. By winning the first Women's WorldTour race of the year, Lippert also takes the season-long competition's purple leader's jersey.

The next round will be the Italian gravel Classic Strade Bianche on March 7.

Results

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Results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women 3:17:46
2Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team 0:00:15
3Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
4Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
5Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women 0:00:21
6Chloe Hosking (Aus) Rally Cycling
7Lauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-SVB
8Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
9Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-Sram
10Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
11Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb Women 0:00:24
12Ruby Roseman Gannon (Aus) Australian National Team 0:01:00
13Anna Louise Henderson (GBr) Team Sunweb Women
14Lotta Henttala (Fin) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:01:24
15Lauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
16Katia Ragusa (Ita) Astana Women's Team
17Pfeiffer Georgi (GBr) Team Sunweb Women
18Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
19Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:01:30
20Peta Mullens (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer 0:02:12
21Julia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
22Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-Sram
23Emily Herfoss (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer
24Sarah Gigante (Aus) Tibco-SVB
25Maaike Boogaard (Ned) Ale BTC Ljubljana 0:02:47
26Nicole Hanselmann SWZ Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport 0:02:50
27Justine Barrow (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer
28Maëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
29Simona Frapporti (Ita) Bepink 0:02:51
30Sophie Edwards (Aus) Australian National Team 0:03:21
31Mieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport 0:03:35
32Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-Sram 0:03:38
33Nina Kessler (Ned) Tibco-SVB
34Trixi Worrack (Ger) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:03:40
35Marieke van Witzenburg (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport 0:04:00
36Rachel Neylan (Aus) Australian National Team
37Tanja Erath (Ger) Canyon-Sram 0:04:21
38Madeline Wright (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer 0:04:46
39Jade Wiel (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
40Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Bepink
41Melissa van Neck (Cze) Bepink 0:05:40
42Minke Bakker (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport 0:06:01
43Anet Barrera (Mex) Agolico 0:06:14
44Justine Vromanne (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport 0:07:34
45Maryna Ivaniuk (Ukr) Astana Women's Team
46Jeniffer Morales (CRc) Agolico 0:08:32
47Ariadna Gutierrez (Mex) Agolico
48Denisse Ahumada (Chi) Agolico
49Marcela Prieto (Mex) Agolico
50Jutatip Maneephan (Tha) Ale BTC Ljubljana 0:08:34
51Anna Plichta (Pol) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:09:34
52Francesca Pattaro (Ita) Astana Women's Team 0:10:01
53Silvia Zanardi (Ita) Bepink
54Erica Clevenger (USA) Tibco-SVB
55Jessica Pratt (Aus) Canyon-Sram 0:13:04
56Anya Louw (Aus) Australian National Team
57Alexandra Martin Wallace (Aus) Australian National Team
58Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) Ale BTC Ljubljana 0:22:07
DNFYeima Torres Beltran (Cub) Astana Women's Team
DNFGeorgia Williams (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFGrace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFJessica Roberts (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFAbi van Twisk (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFTiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-Sram
DNFUrska Bravec (Slo) Ale BTC Ljubljana
DNFUrska Pintar (Slo) Ale BTC Ljubljana
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Ale BTC Ljubljana
DNFJenelle Crooks (NZl) Tibco-SVB
DNFSharlotte Lucas (NZl) Tibco-SVB
DNFAndrea Ramirez (Mex) Agolico
DNFVictorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFKrista Doebel-hickok (USA) Rally Cycling
DNFHeidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling
DNFLiegh ann Ganzar (USA) Rally Cycling
DNFSara Poidevan (Can) Rally Cycling
DNFJenna Merrick (NZl) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFMarketa Hajkova (Cze) Bepink
DNFGrace Anderson (NZl) Bepink
DNFBree Wilson (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer
DNFVeronica Lebedev (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer
DNFNicole Frain (Aus) Australian National Team

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