photo credits @ Deceuninck-QuickStep
Deceuninck-QuickStep claimed victory in Cadel Evans Great Ocean – Towards Zero Race Melbourne today.
As soon as the race – which took place in baking hot conditions – got underway, several teams went on the attack, but Deceuninck – Quick-Step kept things together and moved into the hot seat after just a couple of laps. One by one, Elia Viviani, Michael Mørkøv, Dries Devenyns and Rémi Cavagna – the last two after countering some dangerous moves of their opponents – scored crucial points for the squad, helping the team open an unassailable lead, long before the race entered in its closing phase.
Having built a massive haul of 95 points going into the last laps of Thursday’s event, Deceuninck – Quick-Step just played it smart and made sure of keeping an eye on those who jumped from the field. When a numerous group took off with only a few kilometres remaining, our riders didn’t panic, knowing both classifications were in the bag thanks to a strong collective effort, underlined also by the presence of three Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the individual standings top 10, where Elia Viviani took the spoils at the end of the day.
“It was about 40 degrees Celsius today and hard racing on the limit. We treated it like the Hammer Series, in that every time we had to sprint, we did it with two or three riders to take the team classification points. The fight for the individual ranking was more intense, but Elia, helped by the guys, did a great job and secured the win in style”, a happy Rik Van Slycke said at the finish. “It was a big team effort today and a great example of the Wolfpack mentality. We now look with even more confidence to Sunday’s World Tour race.”
This year’s new race format borrowed from the Hammer Series in staging intermediate sprints on certain laps of the Melbourne Grand Prix circuit, while using a points-based system to decide the winner.
The riders covered 14 laps of the 5.3km motor racing circuit around Albert Park, with sprints on laps 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14. Points were offered to the top eight riders across the line, extending to the top 10 on the final sprint.
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