Belgian upset at Cadel Evans cycle race

Shayne Hope

Dries Devenyns spends most of the year as a workhorse for his Deceuninck-Quickstep teammates.

The Belgian veteran was allowed to celebrate a victory of his own after timing his move perfectly to win Sunday's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race in strong winds at Geelong.

Four climbs of the brutal Challambra hill proved too many for Australian sprint star Caleb Ewan as a six-man group broke away in the final stages.

The 171km event came down to a sprint in two as Devenyns outfoxed Pavel Sivakov (Lotto-Soudal) to cross the line first.

"It's a very special day for me," Devenyns said.

For the past two years at the Cadel Evans race, Devenyns had worked for Italian sprint star Elia Viviani, who won the 2019 edition but has since switched teams to Cofidis.

This time, new Deceuninck-Quickstep sprinter Sam Bennett was among the pre-race favourites.

But when the Irishman fell away, Devenyns pounced on his opportunity.

"I like this race a lot," Devenyns said.

"Each time I'm here I make a good effort.

"When we were in a group it didn't feel like Sam and my teammates were coming back, so I got involved for the victory and I'm happy to sprint for it and take it."

Fortunately, there was no sign of the wild storms that lashed Saturday's women's race and caused a huge crash that took out a large chunk of the peloton.

However, strong winds played a role a different stages.

Mitchelton-Scott's Daryl Impey finished third after teammate Simon Yates had made the bold move on the fourth climb up Challambra that proved too much for pre-race fancies Ewan and Bennett.

"He went a bit earlier than I expected, but we had to take the race on there" Impey said.

"I think a lot of guys were just comfortable with where we were at and we really needed to try and whittle that group down.

"Simon did a great job."

Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) was runner-up to Viviani in the Cadel Evans race last year and was unable to improve on that result, finishing seventh overall.

But he will be pleased to head back to Europe with strong form under his belt from the Australian summer.

Ewan claimed the Schwalbe Classic in Adelaide last month and added two stage wins at the Tour Down Under.

Now, the aim is to add to the five Grand Tour stage wins he claimed last year.

Australian teenager Carter Turnbull (Kordamentha Australia) impressed on Sunday when taking out the king of the mountain and sprint classifications.