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by Matt de Neef
January 30, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Wout van Aert wins his second World Cyclocross Championship; Sanne Cant crowned World CX Champion – “It’s the most beautiful day of my life!”; Nikias Arndt wins men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race; Annemiek van Vleuten victorious in women’s Cadel’s Race; Bauke Mollema wins the Vuelta a San Juan, Maximiliano Richeze claims the last two stages; Dan McLay wins Trofeo Palma but is hospitalised following post-race crash; Philadelphia Cycling Classic cancelled for 2017; Alexis Vuillermoz injured in a car crash; How not to pull off after doing a turn at the front; Highlights from the VTWO/CyclingTips Carpark Climb at the Tour Down Under.
German sprinter Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) was the first across the line in bayside Geelong on Sunday, winning the 2017 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race from a group of more than 20 riders. In doing so he caught lone leader Cameron Meyer (KordaMentha-Australia) mere metres from the line.
Meyer had attacked from the lead group on The Esplanade with just 600m to go and for a time it looked like the West Australian had ridden his way to victory. Meyer was caught so close to the finish line that he managed to hold on for third place, despite the pace of the sprinters coming from behind. Arndt timed his run to perfection, using Meyer’s slipstream to propel him to the finish. Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott) was hot on his wheels, finishing in second.
For Arndt, the victory was made all the sweeter by the fact he was dropped in the closing circuits around Geelong. The presence and support of his teammates helped him battle back to the front and be there to contest the win.
“I thought it’s not possible to come back anymore but I just didn’t stop fighting,” the 25-year-old said. “I just pushed and then I saw also a teammate just after the last climb, Wilco Kelderman, was still around me, and he pushed me and he was doing a big pull. And then I thought ‘Okay if he did such a big pull, you also have to come back. You cannot give up now!’ and then I just continued.”
The peloton that started the three closing circuits in Geelong was bigger than many expected, the bunch crossing the start-finish line roughly 1:20 behind a breakaway of four riders. The break was caught on the second lap, prompting a flurry of attacks from the reduced peloton. Ultimately it all came back together for the final kilometre.
Follow the link to read more at CyclingTips.