The first WorldTour one day race of 2018 was another hot affair in the Australian summer with temperatures reaching 40ºC. KATUSHA ALPECIN rider Pavel Kotchetkov, Alex Porter and Sam Welsford (KordaMentha Australia), Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) and Robbert De Greef (Roompot) were let go early by the peloton and built a lead that peaked at nearly seven minutes. With about 30km to go, and with the gap down to 2:25, Porter, Welsford and De Greef were dropped from the lead, leaving just Kotchetkov and Hansen in the lead. The pair was caught soon after starting the final of three laps around Geelong. In the end Pavel was rewarded with his courageous riding style by winning the Mapei sprint classification.
„It was a long, hot, hard day. I was second on each of the intermediate sprints, but the person in front of me was different, so I won overall at the end of the day. After my unlucky last season it's great to be on the podium this early in the season, and it's great for the team,“ said Pavel Kochetkov.
Bora-hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy becomes first Australian to win Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race beating Elia Viviani (Team Quick Step Floors) in a sprint in Geelong. Mitchleton-Scott’s Daryl Impey, the recent Tour Down Under winner, finished third. Best rider of Team KATUSHA ALPECIN was Maurits Lammertink taking a Top Ten result with the 8th place.
After the race Pavel Kochetkov did an extra 90 minutes of training: „we have almost two days of travel coming up tomorrow, so I wanted to do a bit extra, prepare for the season coming up."
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