Rowe fifth at Cadel Road Race

29 Jan 2017

Rowe fifth at Cadel Road Race

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Luke Rowe battled to fifth place as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race came down to a thrilling finish.

A larger than expected group made it over the final climbs to contest the finish after Team Sky had looked to constantly enliven the race.
 
Rowe dug deep over the final ramp to put himself in position for the sprint, while teammate Chris Froome pushed hard to pull back a dangerous attack from Richie Porte (BMC Racing).
 
In the reduced bunch kick it was Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) who edged out the victory, overhauling Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott) and Cameron Meyer (Australia) at the line - with Rowe mixing it up for a second top-five finish in three years.
Close finish in Geelong

Close finish in Geelong

Luke Rowe

Luke Rowe

It's quite frustrating. I think I pretty much rode the perfect race and was in the right place at the right time.
On the race's finale Rowe told TeamSky.com: "Everything went to plan and then in the sprint it was a cross-headwind from the left. I banked on Jay McCarthy and stayed on his wheel but we didn't come into the finish as fast as I'd have hoped.
 
"I felt I could have got a better result but that's bike racing. No excuses. I think I hit my max heart-rate on each of the three climbs on the last lap! I was literally hanging on by the skin of my teeth."

On an undulating circuit around Geelong Team Sky launched a barrage of attacks. Ian Stannard and Danny van Poppel looked to soften up the peloton early, before accelerations from Sebastian Henao and Kenny Elissonde on the final two ascents of the Challambra climb.
 
Sergio Henao and Froome were also at the sharp end, but with such a big group it became difficult for the pure climbers to stay clear. 
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race top five:
1. Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) 4:19:15
2. Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott) s.t.
3. Cameron Meyer (Australia)
4. Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin)
5. Luke Rowe (Team Sky)
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