The Classics style one-day race has successfully secured a place on the UCI WorldTour after only two editions. It now joins the Tour Down Under as Australia's only races on the WorldTour calendar and takes a place beside other blue riband events such as the Spring Classics and the three grand tours.
2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans said the WorldTour was always his dream for the race.
“I am absolutely delighted our vision has been realised and Australia now has its own modern one-day classic,” Evans said.
“For world cycling this means the classic season will now start in Geelong on January 29, 2017. And, our race will become a critical part of the season with teams and individuals vying for early season points in order to set up their entire year.
“To have such an important race showcase a beautiful region that feels like my ‘cycling backyard’ is something I am very proud of.”
— Cadel Road Race (@CadelRoadRace) August 2, 2016
Not surprisingly the news has delighted the Victorian Government with Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren announcing an extension of sponsorship for the next three years.
“It’s a game changer for the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast regions,” Mr Eren said.
“As more WorldTour teams descend on this spectacular part of our state and country in January 2017, the eyes of world cycling will see just how much this region has to offer. It provides big opportunities for local businesses.
"That's why we're excited to lock this event away for the next three years.”
The 2016 event was broadcast to 140 countries and attracted more than 100,000 spectators. These numbers are now expected to increase.
The 2017 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will take place on 27-29 January 2017, a week after the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.