The UCI World Tour continues this weekend in Australia as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is set to take place on the 29th January. Before the main road race though, the crowds around Albert Park in Melbourne was treated to the Grand Prix style criterium which took place Thursday the 26th.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka started the Albert Park Grand Prix with 6 riders, Nathan Haas leading the way with Tyler Farrar, Jaco Venter, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Lachlan Morton and Ben O’Connor completing the team. The criterium consisted of 22 laps around the 5.3km Grand Prix circuit. Tyler Farrar crossed the line in 6th place.
For Sunday’s road race, Mark Renshaw will be added to our African Team roster as we focus our efforts on a podium placing. Last year Nathan Haas finished 6th from a small group sprint and based on the form shown at last week’s Santos Tour Down Under, Haas will be gunning for a step on the podium this year-round. The route remains unchanged, with a big loop out of Geelong and onto the Great Ocean Road, before returning to Geelong where 3 laps of the tough 2010 World Champs circuit will be completed to give the race a total distance of 174km.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
Our Australian campaign will conclude with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday. Given that the race has World Tour status this year for the first time, the race will be a hard-fought one. Coming off strong performances at the Australian Nationals and the Tour Down Under we will race for Nathan, as this race suits him very well. Every time he started here in Geelong he has finished inside the top 10 and he will for sure be one of the main contenders in the final. We will start the warm-up for Sunday with the criterium in Melbourne’s Albert Park on Australia Day, but will likely go into this race with the same ambitions that we showed for the People’s Choice Classic earlier this month.