Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Race preview: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race men’s and women’s

The one-day Australian race returns for the first time since 2020.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Like the Santos Tour Down Under, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was forced into a two-year hiatus thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. For 2023, though, it’s back on the WorldTour calendar. 

The peloton has traveled from Adelaide to Melbourne ready to descend on the city of Geelong and take on the coastal circuit.

The area has been battered by heavy rain over the past week but the forecast for the weekend looks dry, albeit somewhat windy. 

The women’s race takes place on Saturday, January 28 over 143km while the men will race on Sunday, January 29 across 176km. 

Also readJebel Hafeet to decide inaugural women’s UAE Tour

The course

Starting at the waterfront the peloton will head South and over the Barwon River where they will face the first climb early on before heading out towards the country roads towards Moriac.

Descending towards the coastal towns of Bells Beach and Torquay, where riders will contest a sprint point they will have to watch out for crosswinds as the route skirts the coastline before heading inland from Barwon Heads and another sprint point. 

The peloton will then head along the Bellarine Peninsula back toward Geelong for the start of the final laps of 17km, four for the men and two for the women. 

The Geelong loop incorporates the short but steep Challambra Crescent climb which carries points towards the KOM classification and may well split up the peloton if sprinters aren’t on guard. 

After the descent off Challambra Crescent comes another short, sharp rise up Melville Avenue before the race heads through the residential streets of Geelong and back along the waterfront towards the finish line. 

Contenders Women

Previous winners of the women’s race include Amanda Spratt, Annemiek van Vleuten, Arlenis Sierra, Chloe Hosking, with the last edition having been won by Liane Lippert in her first Women’s WorldTour win just months before the pandemic hit. 

Again, we only see six of the 15 Women’s WorldTeams take part in the race and many of the same riders who lined up in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. 

This is a race that can either come down to a sprint or be broken up on the climbs depending on how the riders take it on. If a climber gets their way then we could see Trek-Segafredo’s Amanda Spratt finally manage a win after showing some seriously good form so far this year. She will have to ward off FDJ-SUEZ’s Grace Brown, however, who got the better of her on the Corkscrew Road stage of Tour Down Under and is on blisteringly good form having claimed the overall at that race. 

Kiwi Georgia Williams, on her new team of EF Education-Tibco-SVB, has also shown some impressive climbing form at the Tour Down Under and could be a strong contender if she finds herself on the right end of a split in the race. EF also have climber Krista Doebel-Hickok who had a strong Tour Down Under. 

The sprinters teams, however, will be hoping to keep the race intact for the final and the likes of Jayco AlUla will be invested in getting their fast-finishing riders like Alex Manly and Ruby Roseman-Ganon into a position to sprint for the win. 

Surprise winner of the first stage of Tour Down Under, Daria Pikulik of Human Powered Health, may also be a contender for a sprint finish if she makes it over the climbs. Otherwise, the team can look to their climber Henrietta Christie. 

Contenders men

The last winner of the men’s race was Soudal-Quickstep’s Dries Devenyns, who will line up with the team again on Sunday. 

The rider with the most to prove is Jayco-AlUla’s Michael Matthews, who wanted more out of Tour Down Under and has been vocal about his disappointment. Matthews will be hoping to redeem his home campaign with a win. 

INEOS Grenadiers has a strong team with plenty of options including young all-around talents Ethan Hayter and Magnus Sheffield and Australian national champion Luke Plapp. 

Riding for the Aussie national team, Caleb Ewan will be hoping for the race to come down to a bunch sprint after narrowly missing out on a stage win at the Tour Down Under. 

EF Education-EasyPost opportunist Italian Alberto Bettiol could be a contender if the race is hard enough on the climbs. 

Trek-Segafredo’s Latvian national champion Emīls Liepiņš showed off his fast finish at the Tour Down Under and after a few misfortunes – including accidentally unclipping from his pedal during the sprint on stage 4 – will be hoping for a clear run. 

How to watch

Women’s race: Saturday, January 28 on Eurosport/GCN+ from 04:15 CET (Friday, January 27 10:15 p.m. EST)

Men’s race: Sunday, January 29 on Eurosport/GCN+ from 03:00 CET.  (Saturday January 28 9:00 p.m. EST)

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.