Bicycle10 riders to watch at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

10 riders to watch at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

The final international races of the Australian summer of racing are set to play out at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race this weekend in Geelong, with the 143km Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race first on Saturday and then the 176km men’s race on Sunday.

It’s been a January of triumph for some and missed opportunity for others, but this final one-day of racing offers one last chance after what has been a long wait for the return of racing in Australia. The home team, Jayco AlUla, will as always, be out for victory in front of their local fans and sponsors, particularly after those pandemic years without international racing on home soil and a relatively lean Aussie season so far, at least by usual standards, on both the men’s and women’s front. 

Though the positive side of that for local supporters is that part of the reason the local team hasn’t been hitting the top of the podium so often is that other strong Aussie riders in other teams have been stepping up instead, from Grace Brown (FDJ Suez) and Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) at the Tour Down Under to Luke Plapp (Ineos Grenadiers) and Brodie Chapman (Trek-Segafredo) in the road races at the Australian National Championships.

The summer conditions and determination of the nation’s riders seem to have played a part in the success of riders from the nation so far, which may explain why our riders to watch are so heavily dominated by Australians. However, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race could play out in many ways and has a history of throwing up unexpected winners. That may make it hard to narrow down which riders to watch but is sure to make for some exciting racing come the weekend.

Deakin University Elite Women’s Race

Grace Brown

Grace Brown (Image credit: Getty Images)

Grace Brown has never looked anything but formidable this summer. Even when out there on her own during the road race at the Australian National Championships. Despite again and again being looked toward to chase down gaps and toughen the pace, she still managed to step onto the podium in second place, taking out the small group sprint behind solo victor Brodie Chapman (Trek-Segafredo). 

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