Maryborough cyclist McCarthy makes history
MARYBOROUGH's World Tour cyclist Jay McCarthy is the first Australian to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
A powerful push in the final 300m paved the way for McCarthy, who grew up in the Heritage City, to end his Australian summer on top of the podium.
He was part of the lead pack with Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey, Italian sprint sensation Elia Viviani, and fellow Australian Simon Gerrans inside the final 5kms.
The BORA-hansgrohe rider stuck to Gerrans's back wheel as the group neared the finish, but 25-year-old McCarthy pounced at the perfect time, finishing a wheel ahead of Viviani.
"I've been thereabouts all summer, to finish the last race in Australia before we go overseas... I'm speechless,” he said after the race.
It caps a quality campaign for McCarthy, who achieved three top 10 finishes at the Tour Down Under.
He ultimately finished 29th at the South Australian event, a result he regarded as disappointing after he was among the leaders for most the week-long tour.
"In this race, everything went well. I was a bit disappointed with my performance at the Tour Down Under, but I came with confidence to Geelong and wanted to achieve a good result,” McCarthy said. "It was good that Daniel (Oss) was with me in the last kilometre. We had (Esteban) Chaves and Viviani on our heels and it motivated me to have a teammate there in the final.
"I'm really happy to end my racing in Australia in this way.”
He won the Australian Open Criterium at Noosa soon after his return to Australia late last year, and was second at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Victoria in early January.
He made his Tour de France debut in 2017.