The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will have 12 WorldTour teams on the start line for the men’s event in 2018, headlined by BMC Racing Team, Team Sky, Trek-Segafredo, Team Sunweb and Quick-Step Floors.
The early season Australian one-day race, created in 2015, moved up to WorldTour status this year and attracted 13 of the 18 WorldTour teams. Former winners Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) will return to defend their titles over the 164 kilometres race starting from Geelong on January 28.
Other WorldTour teams are expected to join the foray including AG2R La Mondiale, Bora-Hansgrohe, Dimension Data, Katusha-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo, Lotto Soudal, and Mitchelton-Scott. Other Pro Continental teams and the Australian national squad will also be participating.
“You can see this race is so special to Cadel – so, to line up with his former team, and in one of the first races I’ll be lining up for with BMC Racing Team, is going to be pretty cool,” said 2017 runner-up Simon Gerrans, who has transferred to BMC from Orica-Scott this winter.
For the women’s race on the same day, 15 teams will line up at the start in what the organisers are calling the “highest caliber of teams in the event’s history”.
Wiggle-High5, Mitchelton-Scott and WaowDeals Pro Cycling will all be there, along with Trek Drops, Ale Cipollini, Cylance Pro Cycling, Sho-Air Twenty20, Bepink, Team Virtu, Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, and Holden Team Gusto. The field is rounded out by Australian domestic teams Specialized Women’s Racing and Sydney Uni Staminade, along with national squads from Australia and New Zealand.
Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott), the 2017 champion will return to defend her title too.
“For the racing, I am very curious to see how both the women’s and men’s race unfold. In the past, we have had three completely different outcomes on the same course, so I am intrigued to see how the 2018 edition will be won.” said Cadel Evans.