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Jan 29, 2017 – Germany’s Nikias Arndt won the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday after a tight sprint to the finish line that saw him narrowly beat Australians Simon Gerrans and Cameron Meyer.
AFP/Image: Yuzuru Sunada
Arndt (SUN) took the third edition of the 174-kilometer (108-mile) race in Geelong, Victoria, in four hours, 19 minutes and 15 seconds. Local stars Gerrans (ORS) and Meyer (AUS) finished second and third respectively on the same time. It was the first triumph for 25-year-old Arndt since he won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in May last year.
Meyer attacked about 800 meters to go after a solo move by fellow countryman Richie Porte, who won his first Tour Down Under in Adelaide last week, with 4.5 kilometers to go. Arndt said he was not sure if he could catch 29-year-old Meyer from Western Australia.
“I just didn’t stop fighting and I just pushed,” Arndt said. “I saw a teammate after the last climb… Wilko Kelderman. He pushed me and he was there doing a big, big pull and I thought, ‘OK if he did such a big pull you also have to come back. You cannot give up now.’ I continued and suddenly, I have to say, the group in front slowed down a little bit and that was to my advantage to come back.”
Gerrans said the final sprint was tricky with the headwind.
“No one had team-mates left… Everyone was just ducking for wheels and trying to get out of the wind,” Gerrans told host broadcaster Channel Seven. “Yeah, Nikias went a long way out. He did the whole sprint in the seat and in the end I had nothing left and couldn’t get past him.”
Three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, who was in contention with a late move, finished 43 seconds behind Arndt. The victory is the first for Arndt’s Team Sunweb this season. Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten (ORS) won the women’s race on Saturday with a time of three hours, four minutes and 13 seconds.
1. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 4:19:15
2. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott
3. Cameron Meyer (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team
4. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
6. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
7. Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
9. Jay Mccarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo