Taking their second win in the space of less than 12 hours, Maris Mayrhofer surged to a brilliant sprint victory for Team DSM at the WorldTour-level Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race today in Geelong.
Riding superbly as a unit all afternoon the team stayed safe in the early crosswind threats before the race hit the finishing circuits. Chris Hamilton and Matt Dinham covered several moves from the attackers on the steep Challambra climb; allowing Romain Combaud, Tim Naberman and Martijn Tusveld to support Mayrhofer in the bunch and save energy. Coming over the ascent for the last time, Dinham and Mayrhofer made it into an elite group which would ultimately catch the last attacking duo and duke it out for the win. Launching from far and coming with speed, Mayrhofer kept his momentum up all the way to the line, raising his arm aloft to celebrate a sublime team victory – and the first in his professional career.
Speaking after the race Mayrhofer said: “It means everything to me. The last race I won was in the juniors so to finally take my first win, it means everything. The team did an awesome job all day. We did this hard climb four times and every time I was in the front because of them. They covered the moves so I could stick in the bunch and save energy for the final. There is a little downhill before the finish where I could build up speed and I then launched the sprint early and went full-gas to the line. I was dreaming of this victory for so long, I cannot believe what happened. This is such a great victory for us. We were riding so well together in Tour Down Under and didn’t quite get the result we wanted, so to finish our time off in Australia with a win today is unbelievable. Thanks to the whole team, staff and everyone – they really deserve to have the win too.”