Image: ©Kirsty Baxter
For the first time CANYON//SRAM Racing will be on the start line for UCI 1.2 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Saturday 28 January. In a coup for women's cycling the 113km race will be broadcast live on national television on Channel 7 and is set to showcase nine international teams competing against several Australian teams. After competing in the Santos Women's Tour in Adelaide, Young Rider classification winner Alexis Ryan and her teammates have travelled to Victoria for their final week of racing in Australia.
The women's road race, heavily sponsored by Deakin University is part of a spectacular weekend of events in Geelong expected to attract thousands of spectators The early sections of the race loop around the scenic Great Ocean Road before riders are tested on the QOM climb at Bells Beach midway in the race. The constant undulations in the final 25km will likely create a flurry of attacks before a climb just 9km before the finish could be key to the overall race result.
Fresh off a good start to the season Alexis Ryan is looking forward to the race. "My results in Adelaide were a pleasant surprise for this time of year, but a confirmation that the off season training was successful. Assuming my form hasn't made a run for it, I expect to be a key player at the front of both races this week in support, or with the help, of my teammates."
"My guess is that Saturday's race will be very aggressive. There's one QOM, two sprints, and several uncategorised climbs littering the course, which makes for many opportunities to get away. The fact that it's a one-day race is also an indicator that it will be aggressive."
The live broadcast from 11:30 to 15:00 (AEDT) on television and mobile devices in Australia is expected to reach an audience of over one million people and is an exciting first for the third edition of the women's race.
"Live broadcast always has a positive impact on the public's perception of women's racing. Most of our races are aggressive and exciting, but people don't know that because they never see it. The organisers from Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race are making a massive statement by broadcasting our race, one that says women battle for the win just as valiantly as men and deserve notice for their efforts."
As a lead up to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, CANYON//SRAM Racing will participate in the first edition of Toward Zero Race Melbourne criterium on Thursday 26 January. The 63km race is around the famous Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix circuit in Albert Park, Melbourne. Riders will complete 12 laps on the 5.3km circuit and a sprint showdown is anticipated.
The team's roster for the two races will be Lisa Brennauer (GER), Tiffany Cromwell (AUS), Barbara Guarischi (ITA), Mieke Kröger (GER), Alexis Ryan (USA) and Alena Amialiusik (BLR).
Follow the races using the official tags #RaceMelbourne and #CadelRoadRace and check local guides for national and international broadcast schedules.