Jay McCarthy became the first local rider to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Sunday, battling through extreme heat to finish in a sprint ahead of Elia Viviani.
McCarthy, who was second in the Australian Road Race Championship earlier this month, said he was speechless at finishing his last race in Australia with a win before heading back to Europe.
Viviani said he was disappointed to have finished second but pleased with the start to his season.
“If the finish line was one metre later I would have won,” the 28-year-old said.
“Not easy for me this course. I’m happy about my shape. Sometimes during the season I never finish in front of race like that one. So in January my shape is good.”
The peloton caught the leaders with 15 kilometres to go, and a breakout of nine riders went clear in the final city circuit including Gerrans (BMC Racing Team), Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT), Impey and McCarthy.
McCarthy eventually proved too strong in the sprint to the finish.
The riders endured searing heat conditions that saw the mercury soar above 40 degree Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Race commentators said road surface temperatures rose to 50 degrees Celsius.
McCarthy, from Queensland, said he was used to the heat and humidity but still found the conditions challenging.
“I’m used to it. Still hurts … It’s more humid than normal down here. We get humidity and heat in Queensland and the two together worked well for me,” he said.
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2018 results:
|1||Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|2||Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)|
|3||Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|4||Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Floors)|
|5||Simon Gerrans (BMC)|
|6||Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb)|
|7||Steele von Hoff (Kordamentha Real Estate -Australia)|
|8||Maurits Lammertink (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|9||Enrico Battaglin (LottoNl-Jumbo)|
|10||Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal)|