Cycling: 20th Santos Tour Down Under 2018 / Stage 5
Podium / Daryl IMPEY (RSA) Orange Leader Jersey Celebration /
Main Road, McLaren Vale – Brookman Road, Willunga Hill
382m (151,5km) / Men / TDU / © Tim De Waele
After success at the national championships and the Tour Down Under in the past two weeks, Mitchelton-SCOTT today name a strong team motivated to maintain momentum in Australia as they line up at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race this week.

South African Daryl Impey will lead the team, having been crowned 2018 Tour Down Under champion yesterday, and will be joined by the likes of 2016 Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman and 2016 Il Lombardia winner Esteban Chaves in Sunday’s main event.

Sprint king Caleb Ewan will line up in his final race in Australia for 2018 at the Race Melbourne criterium on Thursday.

The team:
Jack Bauer (NZL, 32)
Esteban Chaves (COL, 28) – Sunday only
Alex Edmondson (AUS, 24) – Thursday only
Caleb Ewan (AUS, 23) – Thursday only
Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 21) – Thursday only
Mathew Hayman (AUS, 39)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 26)
Damien Howson (AUS, 25) – Sunday only
Daryl Impey (RSA, 33)
Cameron Meyer (AUS, 30) – Sunday only

The objective:
Results so far in 2018 have Mitchelton-SCOTT aiming for one thing – a victory.

The Australian team boast Ewan in Thursday’s criterium and multiple options in the main road race on Sunday including 2018 Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey, track champion Cameron Meyer and Colombian Esteban Chaves who will kick start his season in Geelong following the withdrawal of Luke Durbridge due to injury.

The course:
A dynamic one-day race, reminiscent of the Spring Classics in Europe, makes for exciting and unpredictable racing. 2018 sees a change in the finishing circuit, including as extra ascent of the challenging Challambra Climb.

We’ve seen solo and small bunch sprint finishes in the past, and either could occur again.

The regular punchy riders like BMC Racing’s Simon Gerrans, Bora-Hansgrohe’s Jay McCarthy, reigning champion Nikias Ardnt (Team Sunweb) and Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Impey will head up the favourites list.

The past – close but no cigar:
The relatively new Australian race has eluded the Mitchelton-SCOTT men’s team in its first three editions, the home team settling for second place on two occasions (2015 & 2017), with fifth their lowest result in 2016. Can 2018 be the breakthrough year?

Daryl Impey – 2018 Tour Down Under champion:
“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.

“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.”

Esteban Chaves – debut 2018 race:
“It’s always a special feeling to start a new season, no matter where it is. 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.”

Matt Wilson – sport director:
“Our ambitions for this race are very clear – we are going there to win.

“It’s a race that we haven’t managed to win yet and it’s high on our priority list and we are obviously coming off a great summer so far with some big results so we will be hoping for a very good result come Sunday.

“I think the course change is quite significant. A fourth time up Challambra Crescent as well as the shorter local circuits will definitely make for a more dynamic and exciting final. Again, we have a very good team going which will give us multiple options.”

Race details:
Thu, 25 Jan: Towards Zero Race Melbourne, Albert Park, 116.6km
Sun, 28 Jan: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Geelong, 164km