Caleb Ewan and Gracie Elvin win Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic openers

Overwhelmingly outnumbered but certainly not outclassed, two-time Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic overall winner Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) handily won the first day of the Australian summer of racing on Friday. The 21-year-old launched his sprint with a half-lap remaining on the 750-metre course and comfortably held off his challengers to the line.

“It’s a massive relief,” said Ewan. “I didn’t know what my form was going to be like, especially in a short race like this. I haven’t done an hour-long race since this time last year. It was nice coming here and winning again.”

Avanti IsoWhey Sports used their strength in numbers to repeatedly send riders up the road in an attempt to wear down Ewan’s two-man team. Jack Haig, in his debut for Australia’s WorldTour team, was a frequent figure on the front, shutting down each and every threat.

“It was always going to be small team today,” said Ewan. “It was always going to be hard. When Alex [Edmondson’s] bike broke, it turned out to be just me and Jack, which was going to make it even harder.”

“Jack was so impressive today,” Ewan added. “Without him, I couldn’t have won.”

A crash in the second half of the race split the peloton, with a group of 14 making the front-group selection. As the laps ticked down, a handful of riders were able to rejoin the field, and 19 riders contested the sprint.

With three laps remaining, Robbie Hucker (Avanti IsoWhey Sports), who was in the race’s longest-standing breakaway during the first half of the race, went on the attack again. Hucker rejoined the reduced field before the start of the penultimate lap, and Pat Lane (Avanti IsoWhey Sports) led across the finish. The field reshuffled before the bell lap with Drapac’s Bernie Sulzberger leading Shaw to the front.

“I’ve been sprinting a lot in training, so I knew my sprint was going alright,” said Ewan. “I was a bit further back than I wanted to be with one lap to go, so I hit out early, but I’ve hit out from over a lap to go here before, so I knew I was capable of doing that. That’s what I did, and it worked out ok.”

Ewan heads into the second stage of the four-day series with a two-point lead over Jones on the general classification. Shaw sits third overall, four points down.

“It wasn’t a massive goal to come here and win anything,” said Ewan. “It’s more to build me up for Nationals and Tour Down Under. I’ve got so much racing on this summer that I don’t really want to peak here. Obviously I’d like to win as much as I can, but there’s not pressure for me to do what I did last year.”

Gracie Elvin wins Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic opener

Two-time former Australian road champion Gracie Elvin took a surprise victory on day one of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic on Friday. Elvin edged out teammate Lizzie Williams and reigning Australian National Criterium Champion Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team) in a bunch sprint following 45 minutes of racing around the hot dog circuit on Richie Boulevard.

“I wasn’t expecting it actually,” said Elvin. “I’ve just done a whole lot of volume. I haven’t done a ton of intensity. I was hoping today to wind up the legs for Nationals. I was actually riding lead-out today for one of my teammates.”

While notoriously hot and humid during the four-day series, the field set off in mild summer weather with gusts of wind coming off the bay and temperatures just above 20 degrees. Quick off the line, the peloton maintained a high speed during the opening laps until a crash in corner one caused a temporary neutralisation.

Elvin’s Australian-registered team was in control of the race from start to finish with riders on the front of the bunch on nearly every lap of the 750-metre bayside course. ORICA-AIS teammates Chloe McConville and Amanda Spratt covered attacks from Japan’s Novotel Geelong team and the Alé Cycling composite team featuring Cylance rider Valentina Scandolara.

“Sometimes we come into racing a bit nervous because everyone looks to us to make the race,” Elvin noted. “Today we were looking to sit back a little bit and see how things played out and use our numbers toward the end. We did that pretty well. That’s great practice for the racing coming up in Australia and also in Europe.”

Despite efforts to get a break up the road, no rider or group of riders managed to open a sizeable gap. While the front of the race remained intact, high speeds caused riders to drop off the back of the bunch. In the final five laps, only 19 riders remained in the field.

“I was trying to set up Sarah Roy at the end,” said Elvin. “She was going really well today. I do feel a little bit bad about sprinting to the line and not having her come past me.”

“The last corner is always pretty dangerous,” Elvin added. “Our plans didn’t change. I just saw a good moment, and I thought I’d take her with me. The line just wasn’t long enough away.”

Elvin heads into the second day of racing with a two-point lead over Williams and a four-point lead over Wells. Insisting that her team’s priority is stage wins rather than the overall classification, Elvin, who won stage two solo last season, says she doesn’t expect the team will race for her tomorrow.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge)0:59:02
2Brenton Jones (Drapac Professional)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Patrick Shaw (Avanti Isowhey Sports)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Luke Parker (State Of Matter/Maap)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Christopher Lawless (Jlt Condor Mavic)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Kazushige Kuboki (Novotel Geelong/Japan)0:00:03
7Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Jordan Kerby (Drapac Professional)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Joshua Taylor (State Of Matter/Maap)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Leigh Howard (Chain Reaction Cycles)0:00:11
11Zane Hunter (Physiohealth Focus)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)0:00:12
13Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEdge)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Chris Hamilton (Avanti Isowhey Sports)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Samuel Witmitz (Budget Forklifts)0:00:24
16Sam Crome (Avanti Isowhey Sports)0:00:26
17Alistair Slater (Jlt Condor Mavic)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Alexander Smyth (State Of Matter/Maap)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Patrick Lane (Avanti Isowhey Sports)Row 18 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Koning (Drapac Professional)Row 19 - Cell 2
DNFJason Lowndes (Drapac Professional)Row 20 - Cell 2
DNFEiya Hashimoto (Novotel Geelong/Japan)Row 21 - Cell 2
DNFShogo Ichimaru (Novotel Geelong/Japan)Row 22 - Cell 2
DNFRyo Chikatani (Novotel Geelong/Japan)Row 23 - Cell 2
DNFTaisei Kobayashi (Novotel Geelong/Japan)Row 24 - Cell 2
DNFSteele Von Hoff (Avanti Isowhey Sports)Row 25 - Cell 2
DNFJacob Kauffmann (Budget Forklifts)Row 26 - Cell 2
DNFStefan Matzner (Budget Forklifts)Row 27 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Mould (Jlt Condor Mavic)Row 28 - Cell 2
DNFGeorge Atkins (Jlt Condor Mavic)Row 29 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Frame (Jlt Condor Mavic)Row 30 - Cell 2
DNFSteven Lampier (Jlt Condor Mavic)Row 31 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Gate (Chain Reaction Cycles)Row 32 - Cell 2
DNFReece Robinson (Chain Reaction Cycles)Row 33 - Cell 2
DNFJoel Walsh (Chain Reaction Cycles)Row 34 - Cell 2
DNFCaiden Hull (Chain Reaction Cycles)Row 35 - Cell 2
DNFHarry Sweeny (State Of Matter/Maap)Row 36 - Cell 2
DNFMike Cumming (State Of Matter/Maap)Row 37 - Cell 2
DNFChris Harper (State Of Matter/Maap)Row 38 - Cell 2
DNFTyler Spurrell (Vtwo)Row 39 - Cell 2
DNFJames Cummings (Vtwo)Row 40 - Cell 2
DNFNathan Wood (Vtwo)Row 41 - Cell 2
DNFSamuel Lane (Vtwo)Row 42 - Cell 2
DNFCallan Douglas (Vtwo)Row 43 - Cell 2
DNFRussell Gill (Physiohealth Focus)Row 44 - Cell 2
DNFAndreas Müller (Physiohealth Focus)Row 45 - Cell 2
DNFTom Chapman (Physiohealth Focus)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFEvan Hull (Physiohealth Focus)Row 47 - Cell 2
DNFMitchell Dedman (Physiohealth Focus)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNFKane Walker (Pat's Veg)Row 49 - Cell 2
DNFSam Evans (Pat's Veg)Row 50 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Johnstone (Pat's Veg)Row 51 - Cell 2
DNFCyrus Monk (Pat's Veg)Row 52 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Rice (Oliver's Real Food)Row 53 - Cell 2
DNFSean Whitfield (Oliver's Real Food)Row 54 - Cell 2
DNFLachlan Glasspool (Oliver's Real Food)Row 55 - Cell 2
DNFKarl Michelin-Beard (Oliver's Real Food)Row 56 - Cell 2
DNFBrad Davies (Oliver's Real Food)Row 57 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)3pts
2Chris Harper (State Of Matter/Maap)2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)3pts
2Peter Koning (Drapac Professional)2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jack Haig (Orica Greenedge)1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alexander Smyth (State Of Matter/Maap)3pts
2Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEdge)1Row 2 - Cell 3
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General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge)12pts
2Brenton Jones (Drapac Professional)10Row 1 - Cell 3
3Patrick Shaw (Avanti Isowhey Sports)8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Luke Parker (State Of Matter/Maap)7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Christopher Lawless (Jlt Condor Mavic)6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Kazushige Kuboki (Novotel Geelong/Japan)5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Jordan Kerby (Drapac Professional)3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Joshua Taylor (State Of Matter/Maap)2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Leigh Howard (Chain Reaction Cycles)1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Robbie Hucker (Avanti Isowhey Sports)8pts
2Alexander Smyth (State Of Matter/Maap)3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Peter Koning (Drapac Professional)2Row 2 - Cell 3
3Chris Harper (State Of Matter/Maap)2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jack Haig (Orica-GreenEdge)2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional)1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Drapac Professional17pts
2Orica-GreenEdge12Row 1 - Cell 3
3State Of Matter/Maap9Row 2 - Cell 3
4Avanti Isowhey Sports8Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jlt Condor Mavic6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Novotel Geelong/Japan5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Chain Reaction Cycles1Row 6 - Cell 3
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS)0:44:31
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Peta MullensRow 3 - Cell 2
5Valentina Scandolara (Alé Cycling)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Sarah Roy (Orica-AIS)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Julie Leth (Alé Cycling)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Nakamura Kisato (Novotel Geelong/Japan)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Sophie Mackay (Specialized Securitor)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Shannon Malseed (Alé Cycling)0:00:05
14Julia Kalotas (Chain Reaction Womens Team)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Elizabeth Doueal (Specialized Securitor)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Esther Borg (Chain Reaction Womens Team)0:00:09
17Emma Viotto (Bikebug-Nextgen)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Brodie Chapman (Chain Reaction Womens Team)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Chloe Mcconville (Orica-AIS)Row 18 - Cell 2
20Liza Rachetto (Specialized Securitor)0:00:21
21Uwano Minami (Novotel Geelong/Japan)0:00:31
22Tsukagoshi Sakura (Novotel Geelong/Japan)Row 21 - Cell 2
DNFJessica Allen (High5 Dream Team)Row 22 - Cell 2
DNFSamantha De Riter (High5 Dream Team)Row 23 - Cell 2
DNFGaby Leveridge (Total Rush Hyster)Row 24 - Cell 2
DNFRose Osborne (Total Rush Hyster)Row 25 - Cell 2
DNFIone Johnson (Total Rush Hyster)Row 26 - Cell 2
DNFMikayla Harvey (Total Rush Hyster)Row 27 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Whitburn (Alé Cycling)Row 28 - Cell 2
DNFPrudence Rothwell (Bikebug-Nextgen)Row 29 - Cell 2
DNFTayla Evans (Bikebug-Nextgen)Row 30 - Cell 2
DNFKajihara Yumi (Novotel Geelong/Japan)Row 31 - Cell 2
DNFMadeleine Steele (Chain Reaction Womens Team)Row 32 - Cell 2
DNFJenny Macpherson (Chain Reaction Womens Team)Row 33 - Cell 2
DNFVerita Stewart (Specialized Securitor)Row 34 - Cell 2
DNFJasmine Mcmillan (Specialized Securitor)Row 35 - Cell 2
DNFCarina NewmanRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFJosie AitkenRow 37 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)3pts
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)3pts
2Tsukagoshi Sakura (Novotel Geelong/Japan)2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)1Row 2 - Cell 3
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General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS)12pts
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)10Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Peta Mullens7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Valentina Scandolara (Alé Cycling)6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Sarah Roy (Orica-AIS)5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Julie Leth (Alé Cycling)4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS)3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Nakamura Kisato (Novotel Geelong/Japan)1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Lauretta Hanson (Total Rush Hyster)6pts
2Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Tsukagoshi Sakura (Novotel Geelong/Japan)2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)1Row 3 - Cell 3
5Kristy Glover (Bikebug-Nextgen)1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
2Alé Cycling10Row 1 - Cell 3
3High5 Dream Team8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Bikebug-Nextgen2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Novotel Geelong/Japan1Row 4 - Cell 3

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