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by Shane Stokes
January 23, 2018
Gaviria takes stage 1 of the Vuelta a San Juan; Nibali’s new programme emerges following DNS in San Juan; ‘A plate holding my eye in place:’ Stewart has delicate operation after Tour Down Under crash; TDU winner Impey to lead Mitchelton-Scott in Cadel Evans race, Chaves to make 2018 debut; Strong fields for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Races and Towards Zero Race Melbourne; Opinion: Why time bonuses are crucial to the balance of the Tour Down Under; Video: This is Cycling; Video: Cormet de Roselend via Col du Pré – Cycling Inspiration & Education
Mitchelton-Scott heads into Sunday’s Cadel Evan Great Ocean Road Race particularly motivated after Daryl Impey’s unexpected overall victory in the Santos Tour Down Under, with Impey and GC specialist Esteban Chaves amongst those selected for the squad.
Impey highlighted his strong form with three second places on stages, including Willunga Hill, plus the overall win in the Santos Tour Down Under. “I will definitely go into the Cadel Road Race with confidence. It was the race we really targeted and I am excited to go there, particularly after the great week we’ve had at Tour Down Under,” he said. “We will approach it like we did in Adelaide, take it kilometre by kilometre and the legs will do the talking in the final if they are still there.”
He will be supported by Chaves, Jack Bauer, former Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman, Michael Hepburn, Damien Howson and Cameron Meyer, with riders such as Caleb Ewan and Alex Edmondson riding Thursday’s Towards Zero Race Melbourne instead.
“It’s always a special feeling to start a new season, no matter where it is,” said Chaves. “But for me, it is extra special to start in Australia, it’s a country I love and where I have had a lot of different good experiences. This race is awesome as well, I did it for the first time last year. It is hard, the public is awesome, Geelong is a great town and all of the atmosphere around this race is pretty cool.
“I’ve seen that they have added an extra climb, actually it’s a hard climb. One more time can maybe make a difference, but it also depends on how the first 150kms will be. Most of the guys will come from the Tour Down Under so for me, it will be a good test to see where I am after pre-season.”