Big names are now anticipated to be lured to the 2016 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race now the event has secured 'in principle' 1.HC classification by the UCI.
The announcement was made in Geelong at an official launch for the 2016 event, and means the race will lie just one level below UCI World Tour grading.
Although the now retired Tour de France winner won’t himself be competing, BMC and Orica-GreenEDGE have already confirmed participation, with more teams expected to show support in part thanks to the UCI classification.
Cadel, who admitted at the launch that he’ll probably be committed to the event all his life (that’s a fairly safe bet giving the name!), will be riding in the mass participation Momentum Energy People’s Ride, designed for all ages and abilities.
Cadel's awesome Jacket was made for him by students from Geelong Gordon TAFE
The Spring Classics inspired course, which has also received sanctioning from Cycling Australia, remains unchanged from its inaugural year, so pros and amateurs alike can expect a mixed bag of hills, flats, windy coastline and circuits. Or in Cadel’s words, they can look forward to “a race designed to deliver an unpredictable finish”.
Asked how he was handling retirement, Cadel was quick to respond.
“As a pro cyclist I was always motivated to give every single day, so that when I did stop I’d have no regrets. Someone whose opinion I valued once said to me that as a sportsperson, it’s better to retire a year too early rather than a year too late. But so far I am not missing the adrenaline,” he said.
Cadel Great Ocean Road Race Distances
The Elite Men’s Road Race covers 174km and the Elite Women’s Road Race covers 113km of racing.
Momentum Energy People’s Ride Distance
The mass participation people’s ride is 114km, although a shorter 68km course is also on offer.
Elite Women’s Road Race, Saturday 30th January 2016
Momentum Energy People’s Ride, Saturday 30th January 2016 Elite Men’s Road Race, Sunday 31st January 2016
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Thank you Kirsty Baxter for such a top pic!