Several crashes overshadowed an active ride of team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The weather conditions were everything but expected for racing in Australia.
Strong winds and rain caused for several crashes. After an early group of three was able to establish a lead over the peloton, when the first crashes occurred. Unfortunately Songezo Jim hit the deck after 80 km of racing. Just a couple of kilometers later Serge Pauwels and Matt Brammeier were forced to get on their bikes again.
The gap between the split peloton and the lead came down with around 100 kilometers of racing left. In the cross winds another group was able to get away, with Tyler Farrar and Matt Brammeier representing the team’s stripes up front.
The tough final in Geelong then made for another few break attempts. Nevertheless, the race was decided in a bunch sprint with Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quick Step) taking the win from Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) and Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin). After 175 kilometers of racing Tyler Farrar was the best MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung finisher.
Michel Cornelisse – Sports Director
The race didn’t turn out to go as we had planned it. We were involved in several crashes and therefore couldn’t put on our stamp on the race in the final. No one got injured and the moral is still high, so we are looking forward to perform well at the upcoming Herald Sun Tour.