Quick-Step Floors Team to Cadel Evans Race
First World Tour one-day race of the season is scheduled this Sunday.
The third edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, won at its debut by Quick-Step Floors, returns this year as part of the World Tour calendar. The route is unchanged, which means the peloton will cover 174 kilometers on a hilly course, which will also include three laps of the Geelong circuit, used more than six years ago at the World Championships. As a result, the riders who'll look to make the race hard and foil the sprinters' plans will have plenty of opportunities.
"We did a reconnaissance ride this week, and it will be interesting to see in particular what happens in terms of the wind and weather conditions out on the course on Sunday. Two days ago, for instance, during training, the conditions would not have been amenable to splitting up the peloton or doing much damage in the field, but it goes without saying that this can of course change during the race at the end of the week. We will have to reserve any tactical decisions in this respect until we hit the circuit on race day", said sport director Rik van Slycke.
Same team that raced last week's World Tour season opener will line up for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: New Zealand ITT Champion Jack Bauer, three times named the most aggressive rider of the Tour Down Under, Gianluca Brambilla, Eros Capecchi, Dries Devenyns, neo-pro Enric Mas, Petr Vakoč, who recently won the sprint competition at the Albert Park Criterium in Melbourne, and Martin Velits.
Rik van Slycke also talked of the team's options for Sunday's event: "In terms of who will be key players in the team, we have riders like Dries Devenyns, who fares very well in one-day races, and Petr Vakoč, who is also a specialist in those types of races. As he demonstrated at the Tour Down Under, particularly during the last three stages, Jack Bauer is extremely strong at the moment. With his current condition, I think he will be able to pass over the climbs and attempt something special in the subsequent kilometres. So we have a few cards to play."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele