Rowe and Hass strong at Cadel Evans Road Race

Luke Rowe, racing superbly on his fi’zi:k Arione R1 saddle and for Team Sky, showed early season promise as he finished fifth at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (CEGORR) on Sunday. The 26-year-old Welshman dug deep over the final ramp of the Geelong circuit to put himself in a position to challenge for victory, but Rowe didn’t quite have the sprinter’s legs as Nikias Arndt took the win.

‘Everything went to plan and then, in the sprint, there was a cross-wind from the left. I banked on Jay McCarthy and stayed on his wheel but we didn’t come into the finish as fast as I’d have hoped,’ Rowe said after the race. ‘I felt I could have got a better result but that’s bike racing.’

On an undulating 174km course that began and finished in Geelong, Australia – on the site of the 2010 Worlds – Sky launched numerous attacks with Ian Stannard (fi’zi:k Arione R1 saddle) and Danny van Poppel (fi’zi:k Aliante saddle) looking strong. Three-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome (fi’zi:k Antares saddle) made his 2017 competitive debut and also looked sharp.

Dimension Data’s Nathan Haas (fi’zi:k R1B shoes and Aliante VS saddle) was another rider who’d clearly enjoyed a positive off-season, finishing a strong seventh. The 27-year-old, who finished third in the 2015 CEGORR, was there and thereabouts in the sprint and happy with his progress toward his main goals of the Ardennes classics.

‘I am happy of how the team raced over the last few weeks and it makes me proud to see the support we received from fans and partners along the way,’ Haas said.