The 176km event is scheduled this Sunday.

Australia’s only World Tour one-day race is back, and Soudal Quick-Step – the only team to have won it multiple times since it was created – will be present at the start hoping to feature again among the protagonists.

Just as at the previous editions, and despite the harder first part of the race, the action should properly kick off only in the last 68 kilometers, once the peloton enters the Geelong circuit, where the Highton and Challambra Crescent climbs will whittle down the bunch as the speed will gradually ramp up. From the top of the last ascent, only a handful of kilometers remain until the finish on the Geelong waterfront, where the winner of the seventh edition will be crowned.

Led by defending champion Dries Devenyns – who, by triumphing here three years ago, became one of the oldest riders to win a World Tour event – the Soudal Quick-Step squad for this weekend’s race will also include Mattia Cattaneo, James Knox, Mauro Schmid, Jannik Steimle, Martin Svrcek, and Stan Van Tricht.

“We have the reigning champion in our ranks, part of a very motivated team. We had a good Tour Down Under and we are ready for Sunday. The peloton isn’t very big, so we need to pay attention to the breakaway, but also to the wind, which could play a part in the outcome. On the local laps everything will be decided. We have several cards to play and we’ll try to get the best possible result”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt.


Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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