Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Ride and Races – Dave’s view

My Cadel Weekend 2020

Race Torquay

Some of the WoW regulars rode to Torquay on the Wed before the Thursday Race Torquay to check out the 13km course. We rode 3 laps in total, with a coffee break between laps 2 and 3. It’s a great course, with a few nice climbs and descents. I wouldn’t like to do 10 laps though!

Race day on the Thursday John M and I were going to ride down and watch at least the Men’s race but after riding the regular CG Thursday ride to Drysdale in the morning I got home and it was just too hot to go and stand in the sun, so I watched the races on the Web, which worked very well.

People’s Ride, Saturday

I was disappointed when I saw that the course had been changed to have everyone ride just the ‘short’ course, but I guess the organisers had to take safety into account as the BOM had predicted pretty bad weather for Sat morning. When I got up, with the plan to ride to the start at Steampacket for 7am, the weather radar was not good! I was in two minds whether to ride at all but things started to clear up and I made the decision to ride up the BRT to Boundary Rd and join the course there. I got there at 8am and everyone who had started at Steampacket were already down the road so I had a great ride on an empty road to Barwon Heads! I started catching up with other riders as I got close to Barwon Heads and then there were lots of people stopped at the various coffee places along Hitchcock Ave. I just rode through, no stops, and made good time back towards Geelong and just got rained on a little as I rode up Boundary Rd towards Eastern Gardens and the finish. I passed through the finish line, collected my freebie water bottle and then rode around the piece of the course I had ‘missed’ back up to the BRT/Boundary Rd corner and then home.

Race Day, Sunday

I rode up the BRT and watched the peloton go past at Boundary Rd. I then rode around the river to my brother’s place in Hamlyn Heights for lunch and to watch the progress of the race on TV. We saw the first climb of Challambra and then we headed out on the bikes and rode around the river path, and got to Scenic Rd just in time to see the peloton come blasting down the hill and squeeze across Queens Park Bridge! We then continued our ride around the river and climbed up the access track to Barwon Blvd and then rode up Challambra. The marshals made us get off the road just where the barriers started at the top, at the 200m point, so we walked a bit further up and watched the two final climbs from about the 50m to go point and on the TV screen at Montpellier.

After the race was over we rode down Scenic Rd and made our way down to the finish line at Steampacket via the East/West Corridor cycle route and the Green Spine and ended up scoring a free Mapei hat and relaxed with a beer. Afterwards as I was riding home via Limeburners Rd one of the Cofidis riders came racing past me, doing at least 30km/hr (having just ridden the 170km race 🙂 and disappeared up the Boundary Rd hill. An easy warm down ride for him, no doubt!

WoW Wednesday – making up for the shortened People’s Ride

We decided to ride the newly modified ‘elite’ race course, to check out the changes that had been made this year. We met, as usual, at Sth Barwon Reserve, which is on the course and headed to Barwon Heads. We made a slight change to the route, going via Lake Rd to get away from the traffic on Barwon Heads Rd but rejoined the correct route at the airport corner. We then continued down to Barwon Heads, and through to Torquay. John M told us that he had seen that Bells Blvd is now closed for roadworks for two months so we had to follow the signed detour up the GOR to Addiscott Rd then via Bones Rd back onto the correct route and through past Bells and Southside before doing the pretty tough climb up Jarosite Rd. We then turned onto Addiscott again, in the other direction, and headed towards Gundrys and Vickerys. It was interesting riding these roads as on other WoW rides we have always ridden them in the other direction. This time the climb up Vickerys was fairly hard, normally we would be racing down there towards the bridge at the bottom!

After that the new route is pretty interesting and we made it through for a coffee at Moriac General Store. We then headed up Cape Otway Rd, Hortips, Considines onto Barrabool Rd and back towards Geelong. There was some discussion about whether everyone wanted to tackle Challambra/Westbury and then Melville Ave but we decided to go for it! Those climbs are hard but the group survived well, just Paul H didn’t make it up Westbury. (I saw him today and he said he made it to the roundabout sign just down from the top, but at that point his pedals refused to turn and he had to stop 🙂 so he rode back down and home ). The rest of the group made it up Melville then down Church etc to Steampacket. At that point John M headed home and I rode with Gerry around the rest of the course to complete it at Sth Barwon.

I am impressed by the changes made to the course. It will be interesting to see if it is used for the Peoples Ride as well as the Elite rides next year.


Thanks Dave, for your perspective on this year’s CEGORR.

Start of 2020 People’s Ride – We see that Visit Victoria still hasn’t got it that Geelong isn’t a suburb of Melbourne.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – more photos

Our Cycling Geelong volunteers for Sunday’s Elite Men’s Road Race.


Robert, Mike C, Helen, Margy and Hermann

Robert reports that his first placement was along Boundary Road before moving to be a field-of-play marshal at Queen’s Park Bridge.  His role was to wave a flag directing the cyclists onto the bridge.  You may have seen him on TV!

Charlotte was at Barwon Heads.

Richard volunteered on Sunday 20th and Saturday and spotted this crocheted bike along the course.  Another of Fiona’s creations?

Geelong themed yarn bombed bike along the course for the 2019 Cadel Great Ocean Road Race

“Pearly” spotted near Lara in September 2010, before she popped up around the course at the World Championships held in Geelong.


Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2019

One volunteer’s experience

The Elite Women’s ride – Saturday 26th January

As we arrived at Deakin Waterfront at 10am, there were already cyclists arriving back at the finish line after achieving the 35 or 65 km rides.

We were deployed into buses around the course for the Elite Women’s race.  My first position was on Boundary Road, about 100 metres past the official race starting point, which was on Boundary Road near Portarlington Road.  The whole group of elite cyclists flashed past in the blink of an eye, then it was off for us in the bus for a quick break at the Barwon Valley Fun Park (toilets, not playtime) before redeployment.  Our group was near Queen’s Park Bridge.  By sheer luck I was placed at the top of the course’s last short, but extremely steep hill, on Melville Avenue!  Flash past? – the cyclists did not!  The women’s race only completes one circuit, so the first riders up here had a very good chance of winning.  By this point, the race was very fragmented, with at least 10 minutes between the first group and the last rider.

They all had one thing in common – this was a hard climb!  Without exception, the cyclists were in their lowest gear and off their seats for the steepest part!

A small crowd of cycling fans and locals were assembled and cheered the riders, from first to last.

By the time we were collected and returned to the Waterfront, it was all over.  Who won?  We only heard later!

Sunday, 27th January – Elite Men’s Ride

As the elite men’s ride included the whole course to Barwon Heads, Torquay, Bells Beach and Moriac, as well as an extra 3 complete circuits of the Geelong course, marshals were bidden to be at Deakin Waterfront by 8.45am.  Once again, buses deployed us around the course.

My first placement was on Barwon Heads Road, in Marshall, opposite Barwarre Road.  A group of 3 had formed a breakaway, and, despite the closeness to the start, were already minutes ahead of the field.  The peleton showed no interest in chasing, and were cycling at a sedate pace – 35, 40, 45 kph – who can tell but, in Rod’s words it was ‘a whirr of many wheels’.

Our road closures removed, we were once again redeployed.

Once again, I was fortunate – marshaling pedestrians crossing Western Beach Road on the corner of Gheringhap Street – around 300 metres from the finish.  The cyclists passed this point four times, the last one flat out in the sprint finish.

Once again, it wasn’t till later that we learned the placings.

Elite Women’s Ride

  1.  Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women’s Team
  2. Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
  3. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women

Elite Men’s Race

  1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
  2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
  3. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott

Helen Lyth (Route Marshal)

Add to the CEGORR 2019 story

Cycling Geelong members, please send in your own stories and photos of the 2019 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and People’s Ride so we can share them on this website.


Barwon River Circuit: 27th January, 2018

Alex led 20+ cyclists on the circuit.  We had two new riders – Roman and his daughter Lily.  Lily is probably our youngest rider ever and did the ride from the comfort of dad’s small-wheeled trike, which converts into a stroller.

There was a rowing regatta so a dismount was needed near Moorabool Street.  Otherwise, the path as reasonably quiet.  The ride strung out with lots of gaps to allow other path users plenty of space.  Passing under the Queen’s Park Bridge, the first bunch of Cadel Evans People’s riders came through.  David estimated that, to have made this point before 10am, these riders must have averaged around 40kph.  They were riding very strongly and looked as if the Aphrasia climb and Melville Avenue ‘wall’ would be no problem.

As usual, the coffee break was at Barwon Edge.  While sitting there, resting and enjoying refreshments, it was enjoyable to watch the later people’s riders on the lower slopes of the Challambra climb on the other side of the river.  By this time (around 11am), it was the average recreational cyclists making the climb.  The distance and hills were beginning to take their toll on some riders. 

Thanks to Alex for leading this most enjoyable ride.

Congratulations to all our Cycling Geelong members who rode in the Cadel Evans GOR People’s ride this morning – Margy, Kevin, Doug, David S, and any others.  It’s a wonderful achievement whichever ride you chose.  Thanks also to Stephanie and Geoff who were marshalling.  (I think I spotted a glimpse of Stephanie on the lower part of the Chalambra climb – directing the riders past a central road island – they were moving too quickly to be sure.)

On my ride back home, I enjoyed a spin down Church Street.  There were still riders completing the Cadel Evans People’s Ride 110km course at that time (around 12am).

Later, after watching the women’s event live, I cruised down to Steampacket Gardens for the presentations.  With the roads still closed to motor traffic, it was an easy quiet ride.

Congratulations to Chloe Hoskins (who also won the Tour Down Under last week).  Chloe also won the sprint jersey.  Congratulations also to the other place getters, Gracie Elvin (2nd) and Georgia Bronzini, and to Katrin Garfoot (Queen of the Mountains), and Sabrina Stultiens who staged an amazing breakaway on the Chalambra climb and was only caught in the last few hundred metres along the waterfront.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2018: Launch

Cadel Evans was the star of today’s launch.  Despite his team commitments to the Tour de France and battling flu, he once again travelled to Geelong to launch the 2018 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Ride.

The event was jointly launched by Cadel, Sports Minister John Eren and Professor Jane Den Hollander, vice-chancellor of Deakin University.  Once again, our own Geelong university, Deakin, will sponsor the elite women’s race.

As the fog lifted, a couple of celebrity challenges were ridden.  First, Cadel and Phil Anderson went head to head the final few hundred metres of the killer Challambra climb.  It was close, but, despite the commentator’s beat up of a dead heat, there was no doubt of the outcome.

The second race was between two young riders from Geelong Cycling Club and Steve Bracks, Chairman of Cycling Australia, ex-Premier of Victoria and recreational cyclist.  Steve is a regular rider in the Cadel People’s ride, but had no chance against younger legs.

The master of ceremonies then demanded a rematch between Phil and Cadel, citing the ‘dead heat’ and Phil’s foot slipping off the pedal in the first ascent.

It was smiles all around for the final photo shoot.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: a volunteer’s perspective

Thanks to Joy Barnett for sending in this report.

CADEL EVANS GREAT OCEAN BIKE RIDE – what an exciting day on Sunday 1st February, 2015. I volunteered on the workforce and was placed at Eastern Beach where the Race started and finished. Many people from around Australia came to see Cadel ride his last race on his home ground, and one couple flew in Saturday from Perth, WA to see Cadel ride, and they caught the plane home Sunday night after the Race. Hence the excitement, buzz and anticipation of this race in Geelong and the Great Ocean Road to see and support Cadel in his retirement from racing.  Approximately there where 75,000 spectators, all very excited. The viewing of the large screen as we watched every part of the ride helped make us feel part of their journey 174 kls in drizzling rain.  I am so looking forward to this ride becoming an annual event and God willing would like to ride in the People’s short ride 65 ks next year!

Thank you Cadel, you gifted Geelong a World Class Event……………

Geelong, Melbourne? The race start of the Geelong waterfront

Joy Barnett

Thanks Joy for your report, and your support of this ride.  Without volunteers, it would be impossible to run major cycling events like this.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – Spectator/s Ride

After a splendid afternoon taking photos of the women cyclist’s race on Hyland Street on Saturday, I was looking forward to a great turn up of riders for the Cycling Geelong Spectator’s Ride and Picnic to celebrate Cadel’s final road racing competition on Sunday.

Early morning rain – usually means it will stop by 11, doesn’t it?  Not the day of the race!  I set off in cold rain, discovered my expensive rain top wasn’t even beginning to cope, and returned for the heavy duty winter affair.  At 11:30 Zillah Crawcour Park was deserted!  A couple of cars in the car park – not a soul in sight.  Two cyclists appeared.  Trish and Shane were there for the ‘picnic’ but had decided not to partake of the ride to Barrabool Road.  There was wisdom in that.  We parted company at Fyansford, they to rive the river circuit – beautiful in any conditions – I to ride to Barrabool Road. The wind was a strong southerly with a hint of westerly.  Concerned about missing the cyclists, and with heavy camera gear (and picnic) in the pannier, the route was modified to leave out Pollocksford Road.  It was mainly dryish!  Merrawarp Road (a gentle incline) seemed to go on for ever, and it was with relief that I finally turned right onto the steeper hill up Barrabool Road.

Finding a comfortable patch of grass (pretty dry considering), I parked Rosie the Bike Friday against a tree, and sat down to wait.  Time for a snack and drink.  There was no one to share the brownies – who’s sorry now?  A couple of recreational riders came up the hill strongly.  An SUV parked a bit further down the road.  Another, much less fit cyclist sighed as he reached the top.  Finally, a few official looking vehicles arrived, and the first of the motor bikes.  So did the rain.  Some locals from the farm opposite drove down in their ute and set up bunting, a hand-made sign and decorated the roadside posts with helmets.  A couple more cars pulled up to watch.  The rain continued as more official vehicles passed – lights flashing.  A helicopter could be heard, but not seen in the rain.  Finally, it became visible as the Commissaire’s car heralded the first cyclists.

After the cyclists had gone, I packed up the wet Canon, jumped back on the bike and cycled back down the wet road to Merrawarp Road.  Merrawarp was a doddle with a very strong tail wind – Rosie wound up to 40kph!

Back on the almost deserted river path at Fyansford (lots of spectators on the turn into Hyland Street) I made my way to Zillah Crawcour Park.  At 2:30 Zillah Crawcour Park was deserted!  Plenty of people on the bridge, and spectators all along the Aphrasia and up the extra steep pinch of Melville Avenue.  I decided to take up a position to take a few more photos before going home to watch the end on TV.  It was too crowded to ride (that’s my story anyway) so I started pushing Rosie up the footpath – only to hear calls from the picnickers of Cycling Geelong – strategically placed next to the Bridge.  It was wonderful to see such friendly faces!  The racers had completed two crossings of the bridge and were just about to ascent Scenic Road for the third time.  I took up position with the camera – in what was almost sunlight.  Cadel came through in a bunch near the front.

These riders are phenomenal – 180km with 1679 metres of climbing – on 11 categorised hills.  Challambra – 22%, Melville -20+% and all the rest!

Congratulations to all riders – it’s an extraordinary effort just to finish.  Thanks and congratulations to Cadel for making this ride possible and for sharing a truly amazing career.  His ride in the Cadel Evans Classic goes down in history with the rides that made him famous.

The Cadel Evans ride picnic – the real story

Peter & Swee Smith

David & Nancy in the rainwebThe photo is a wonderful symbol of the picnic.

When we suggested this picnic at Queens Park bridge we had in mind what it was like in the UCI – lot’s of people, lot’s of excitement, great sunshine and a great day.

This time wasn’t totally like that.

We made our way down from our house to the Zillah Crawcour Park in wintery conditions and wearing our ski coats. We dithered about looking fr a sheltered place for the picnic – all on our ownsome!!! Then other people like ourselves, of fabulous enthusiasm but doubtful sanity turned up. Finally there was Shane and Trish Balkin, Nancy and David Jones, and Linda Chitham. We huddled together for warmth and had our picnic in the drizzle. After lunch wiser souls appeared, such as Karen A, Colleen B, Geoff & Caroline – and then Helen Lyth returned from her ride that shadowed the race for a part of it.

We got value from the picnic through watching the race but there were philistines among us who muttered about television and warm lounge rooms.

But in the great spirit of all outdoor activity – we had a fun day and came home feeling virtuous.


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Trailed by cameras on both sides – riders tackle Aphrasia Street.