Mayrhofer Sprints to Victory in Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Race favorites Michael Matthews (Team Jayco-AlUla) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Dstny) were left disappointed following today’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2023. As expected, the race culminated in a sprint finish, but it was 22-year-old Marius Mayrhofer (Germany) of Team DSM who turned out to be the fastest man on the day.
The peloton contested the 174.3-kilometer race from Geelong to Geelong in rainy and windy conditions that made the conclusion of the Australian start of the 2023 professional road cycling season less joyful for the riders who had travelled to Australia for early season warmth and excitement.
The first part of the race was dominated by Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty) who courageously initiated a solo attack despite the wet conditions and fought on at the front until 40 kilometers from the race end.
Approximately 50 kilometers from the finish an attack was launched by a breakaway duo consisting of Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-EasyPost) and Ewen Costiou (Arkea-Samsic), but the dynamic duo was caught ten kilometers later.
In the final 25 kilometers home favorites Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tour Down Under winner Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates), and Luke Plapp (Ineos-Grenadiers) launched individual attempts to break away from the peloton, but with little success.
Plapp attacked again with 500 meters to go, but he was reeled in by the furiously chasing peloton.
Mayrhofer won this year’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race ahead of Hugo Page (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty) and Australian Simon Clarke (Israel-PremierTech). Matthews finished fourth and Ewan took sixth.
“Winning feels great,” race winner Mayrhofer said after being celebrated on the podium. “Immediately after crossing the finish line, I was completely done emotionally and just couldn’t believe it, but I’m fine again and so happy to take the victory.
The race finale was influenced by a nasty crash in the final 200 meters, which caused distress and confusion in the peloton where the professional teams were setting up their sprinters for the final sprint across the finish line in Geelong, Australia. Riders involved in the crash included Dorian Godon (AG2R-Citroen), Ethan Hayter (Ineos-Grenadiers), and Dries Devenyns (Team Soudal-QuickStep).
Former Tour de France winner Chris Froome did not finish today’s race.