Close second for Sivakov

02 Feb 2020

Close second for Sivakov

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Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, 171.7km

Pavel Sivakov took an impressive second-place finish after an aggressive showing from Team INEOS in Geelong.
 
Sivakov launched a solo move with 5.5 kilometres to go, yet was hauled back by Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), with the Belgian edging out the two-up sprint.
 
Dylan van Baarle also found himself in a select front group on the final lap and dug deep to finish in fifth place, four seconds back on the lead duo. 
 
The team were in the mix straight from the gun as the peloton quickly split in the crosswinds. New signing Cameron Wurf was thrust into the action, drilling it on the front alongside Luke Rowe. The pace went up again with 85km to go, with Ian Stannard, Owain Doull and Chris Lawless also contributing to making the race hard ahead of the finishing circuits.

The final time up the Challambra climb it was Sivakov who latched on to the acceleration of Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). This proved to be the launchpad for a strong podium finish, with Van Baarle able to sit in behind and wait for the sprint.
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Reaction
 
- Pavel Sivakov
 
"I saw everyone was on the limit, and when you're racing for the win you have to attack. I knew I wasn't the fastest guy in the group, so I had to try to go away if I wanted to win. I almost did it, I just missed a bit. I'm happy and disappointed at the same time.

"We didn’t really plan it to go like this but we knew there were some crosswinds from the start. We just wanted to keep it safe, and when all the team were on the front we did some damage. We put everyone under pressure. It was a really tough day throughout the whole race – really full on, stressful and hard for everyone. Then on every lap some guys were getting dropped. In the end it was a select group at the front. I’m happy to come second but a little bit disappointed not to win. It was pretty close but chapeau to Dries.
 
"The team was amazing. We were there from start to finish. Of course we wanted to get rid of the sprinters but we knew that the sprinters are some of the best guys in the crosswinds. It was more to make it hard before we came onto the laps, so everyone was tired and we could race aggressively again."

- Cameron Wurf

"It was super hard as expected. As a team we didn’t have a sprinter, so the plan was to make it as hard as possible. And that meant making it hard from the start. For my first race back it would have been lovely to have maybe 50-60km to ease your way in, but I was the first person to do a pull. That was about 5km into the race and I was on the limit it from then on. But it’s great – when you’ve got a team like this it’s easy to motivate yourself to do whatever you can. You can tell that Pavel and Dylan particularly were super strong. If we could make it hard all day then they had a chance of doing well – and they showed it at the end. It was great. 
 
"I felt pretty comfortable out there in the peloton. I didn’t know if everyone knew it was me and were giving me a bit more space! A lot of guys said hello and welcome back which was really nice. It was a great way to start. It was tough but I’m glad I did it now, as early as possible. Now I know what to expect and to improve for next time.
 
"I’ll run back to the hotel now. Perfectly they’ve positioned the finish line a half marathon distance away, which is (coach) Tim Kerrison’s minimum requirement (laughs)."
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Final result:

1. Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 4:05:49
2. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) s.t.
3. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) +4"
4. Jens Keukeleire (EF Education First) s.t.
5. Dylan van Baarle (Team INEOS) 

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