The Women’s WorldTour began today at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race with a challenging 121 kilometre route in Geelong and the surrounding area awaiting the riders. Alongside the testing parcours, the weather added an extra challenge to the race, as the peloton had to contend with strong winds and rain throughout the afternoon.
Not long after the flag drop an early breakaway duo escaped and it looked as if they would form the move of the day, but upon arriving at the first sprint point things were all back together. A new group of five forged on at the head of the race to be more successful, slowly building up their lead over the bunch. As the rain continued to pour and with a lack of cooperation in the peloton, the breakaway held an advantage of over four minutes with just 40 kilometres to go.
The bunch soon responded and the team came to the front to help set the pace and slowly reel in the breakaway. The gap fell at a steady rate and as the bunch hit the slopes of the Challambra climb with roughly ten kilometres to go, the race was back together.
The team set a solid pace on the climb with riders dropping off the back, but in a cagey affair no attacks were made. Those dropped made it back onto the group on the descent, including some dangerous sprinters. On the final small but sharp rise with around five kilometres to go, Liane Lippert put in a stinging attack, managing to get clear of the now diminished peloton.
Not looking back, she dug deep and continued to push on the pedals all the way to the line, holding on to take a memorable victory. Behind, Leah Kirchmann sprinted to fifth place, rounding off what was a great day of racing for the team.
|1||LIPPERT Liane||Team Sunweb||3:17:46||400|
|2||SIERRA Arlenis||Astana Womens Team||0:15||320|