Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2023

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. A battle between the sprinters and the puncheurs. It is usually up to what the strongest teams want.

The route

A rather easy first part of the stage, it always comes down to the laps in Geelong. Here, the riders must climb Challambra Crescent and a shorter kicker called Melville. They have to do the lap four times and it is 18 km long.

The circuit in Geelong works a bit like a badly drawn eight. They head south and proceed west up the climb. A quick descent with only one corner before they start moving straight north. The most important part is the Challambra Climb, the descent and the short counter climb Melville.

End is the finish line.

Main climb of the circuit. No plateau, straight into a descent afterwards.

Decent and counter-climb. Very quick descent and a short flat section before another good spot for attacking arises.


Not very hot and wind blowing from the south but not very strongly. Towards the finish, the rain could start to play a factor as it is forecast to rain from 16:30. It means a headwind on the first part of the circuit, but mainly a headwind home.

Circuit in Geelong

How will the race unfold?

Ewan (UniSa), Thijssen (Intermarché) and Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) are the three teams with a sprinter. Team Australia can not control it for Ewan, Meeus is not the only option for Bora-Hansgrohe and Thijssen is not the only option for Intermarché. The three teams with a purer sprinter can not control this stage.

Matthews (Jayco), Strong (Isreal – PT) and Hayter (INEOS) fall in the category of wanting a sprint, if they can get rid of the three purer sprinters. Again, it is not the teams only option to go for a reduced sprint.

I think we will see a group going clear. It has to be a group that consist of riders from the strongest teams – Jayco, UAE, Bora-Hansgrohe and INEOS.


Matthews – he should start the race as the favorite. Quick and he can climb. The shorter, steeper climbs are better for him compared to Nettle Hill and Corkscrew Road. I think Bling is very eager to show that he is in form at the moment and that the bad luck recently is to turn around.

Strong – a quick sprint and shorter climbs. This suits him well. It was clear he was the strongest from Israel – PT in Down Under. He should hope for a reduced favorite sprint.

Hayter – not in the best form recently, but he usually starts of the season well. I can not write him off, but the scenario of bringing him to a sprint – without quicker sprinters – seems almost impossible.

Page – flying a bit under my radar. He is doing very well just now, and he has a far better sprint after a tough day.

Schmid – I think he will be up there tomorrow. Santos Tour Down Under was a good indication of his current form, he looks to be putting on another level this year. He is quick in a sprint and shorter climbs suit him too.

Vine – the best climber here. He hopes for a selective race, he can beat a few in a reduced sprint. UAE has a great team with multiple options. I think they will make the race hard until Vine has to make the difference.

Sheffield – not on his best level in Santos Tour Down Under, but he usually does better on shorter climbs. He provides INEOS with a great option, with Hayter sitting behind – he can skip turns.

Bystrøm – in flying form. I expect him to finish among the best.

Hirschi – far better than expected recently. He was one of the stronger climbers. He is a fantastic one-day racer and given his form is looking well, it provides UAE with two options.

Plapp – if he finds his legs from the national championship, he is one of the few riders who can solo it.

Honoré – it is either him or Bettiol who will perform well here. I will go for the Dane to make a good result for himself.

Who will win?

I do not think they can drop Matthews, who likely will have S. Yates with him deep into the finale. I will take a win for the home favorite.

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