Famous Tour France champion Cadel Evans has finally hung up his boots with 5th place at Great Ocean Road Race. Famously named after the iconic rider himself, the maiden 2015 championship was won by Gianni Meersman from Etixx-Quick Step.
Australian rider Simon Clarke came up with the second position while Nathan Haas was in the 3rd position.
It was quite a pulsating contest, hosted in windy and wet conditions. A team of 5 riders with domestic Aussie cyclists like Brodie Talbot, Josh taylor & Darcy Woolley, built up an early lead at the race. However, it was a disastrous experience for Luxembourg cyclist Didier (Laurent) who unfortunately crashed out after around 50 km. The rider was rushed to the hospital soon with suspected fractured arm & the breakaway reduced to 4 riders.
With around 82 km more to go on, Canondale used crosswind that launched a strong withering attack, splitting the peloton. Cadel was one among the elite names who got caught out with the move. From there, the race witnessed constant attacks shredding the peloton & the race ran down to 3 laps of 20 km mountainous Geelong circuit.
Evans & key rival Porte (Richie) attacked at the final of 2nd lap yet they’re marked very closely. As the last lap commenced, Cadel’s BMC mate Wyss & Richie’s Sky mate Stannard (Ian) were right at the fore, accompanied by Peter Serry from Etixx-Quick Step. They were fast joined by Aussie rider Simon Clarke & Swiss cyclist Martin Elmiger.
Evans was naturally emotional after coming out of the race. It was the last professional race for the legendary rider. He admitted that he had remote chances against the faster men at the race like Meersman & Haas.
“They were very quick at the finishing round”, noted Evans.