2014 Road Nats Elite Men’s Road Race: Preview, live race updates, blog

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    Gerrans ready to pounce on Tom-Jelte Slagter on the Willunga Hill climb, Tour Down Under, 2013

    One week out from the start of the UCI Pro-Tour, the best professional Australian road cyclist will be crowned in Ballarat. We’ll have live race updates from the 2014 Road Nats Elite Men’s Road Race from 2.00pm AEDT.

    This year’s drawcard will be none other than Cadel Evans who will also ride the Tour Down Under.

    A former Road Race World Champion and Australia’s only Tour de France winner, Evans will race the Australian Nationals for the first time in nine years after making good progress in training.

    But Evans won’t be the only big name racing on Sunday; Richie Porte, Michael Matthews, Adam Hansen, Matthew Goss and defending Champion, Luke Durbridge will all see Evans on the starting line.

    Orica-GreenEDGE will be the most represented in the field, with six contracted riders racing.

    Simon Gerrans and Simon Clarke have been in terrific form, with Gerrans wearing the yellow jersey in the 2013 Tour de France and Clarke a constant force in the breakaways of the Grand Tours.

    The 183.6km course will include 18 laps of a 10.2 km route which includes two climbs, the first at a 6.4 percent incline for 1.4km and the second at 6.4 percent for 1.1km.

    The descent is technical and narrow, which could provide plenty of action should the riders lose their direction.

    Goss, Renshaw and Matthews are the sprinters in the field but they will be up against it to remain at the front following the climbs up Mount Buninyong.

    A course such as this does suit the likes of Jack Bobridge, Luke Durbridge, Simon Gerrans, Richie Porte and Cadel Evans.

    Short, sharp climbs are a feature of many European one day classics as well as time trials.

    Riders such as Evans, Porte, Durbridge, Cameron Meyer, Bobridge and Clarke will look to rely on their climbing and time trialling abilities to outlast their sprinting opponents, possibly attacking during the final 20km to try and shake the sprinters.

    Should these men make it over the final climb of Buninyong I’d be looking at Durbridge, Evans, Porte and Meyer to fight it out. Evans’ time trial form has not been great lately and he may look to break away on the climb before consolidating on the descent.

    Porte has shown his value on the climbs as well as his time trialling ability in 2013 so he won’t be easy to beat.

    Durbridge, the defending champion, will be tough to get past, boasting a wonderful time-trialling ability. Should he get into the clear he will need an organised chase to catch him.

    Renshaw, Matthews and Goss will have to back themselves on the short climbs to stay with the peloton as the race continues.

    Should the three remain with the pack I’d back Goss to win the sprint.

    He has a Robbie McEwen-like style that allows him to sprint well without a large lead-out train.

    It’s a star studded field and sure to provide plenty of entertainment on Sunday afternoon. Join us for live updates from 2.00pm AEDT.

    Have Your Say



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    The Crowd Says (42)

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    • Roar Guru

      4:26pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:26pm | ! Report

      OGE make it 3 from 3 at the Nationals. The Green and Gold jersey will likely be seen in the 2014 TDF peloton later this year.

    • Roar Guru

      4:25pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:25pm | ! Report

      Gerrans win the gold, Evans silver, Porte bronze.

      Porte attacked, Gerrans responded with Cadel jumping on his wheel. Evans and Gerrans sprinted for it. Meyer finished 4th with Bobridge in 5th. It’s the highest finish for Cadel at the Nationals and his first ever podium at the event.

    • Roar Guru

      4:22pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:22pm | ! Report

      Porte hammers it and Meyer is chasing to help out Gerrans. Evans sits firmly on Meyer’s wheel.

    • Roar Guru

      4:21pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:21pm | ! Report

      I’d expect a time trial effort fro Porte and Evans pretty soon. They know they won’t beat Gerrans in a sprint.

    • Roar Guru

      4:20pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:20pm | ! Report

      Meyer has been caught. Once again alongside Porte, Evans and Gerrans. Gerro is the best sprinter and Evans is not expending any energy.

    • Roar Guru

      4:19pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:19pm | ! Report

      Porte and Evans working together to catch Meyer.

    • Roar Guru

      4:18pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:18pm | ! Report

      Meyer attacks. Shades of the Schleck brothers against Evans on the Galibier in 2011.

    • Roar Guru

      4:17pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:17pm | ! Report

      Evans, Meyer, Gerrans and Porte are together at the front.

    • Roar Guru

      4:16pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:16pm | ! Report

      Evans is after Gerrans and is in second.

    • Roar Guru

      4:15pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:15pm | ! Report

      Gerrans has caught his teammate and gone past him.

    • Roar Guru

      4:14pm
      SuperEel22 said | 4:14pm | ! Report

      Meyer attacks.

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