• Simon Gerrans (R) just missed out on a victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. (Getty)Source: Getty
Given he is a proven master of targeting races and delivering big wins, second place stings Simon Gerrans.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
30 Jan 2017 - 8:29 AM  UPDATED 30 Jan 2017 - 8:44 AM

The Orica-Scott veteran is feeling a mix of frustration and satisfaction after finishing runner-up in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race, his second near-miss this month.

Gerrans was able to catch compatriot Cameron Meyer (Korda Mentha) on the line at Geelong, but sprinter Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) was quicker and the German pulled off a narrow win in Sunday's race.

Arndt digs deep to win the Cadel Evans race
Sunweb sprinter Nikias Arndt put his head down from 200 metres out to take the victory at the 2017 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Three weeks ago, first-year pro, Miles Scotson (BMC), caught the lead group off guard with a daring solo attack at the road nationals and Gerrans again had to settle for second.

Gerrans usually scores at least one big win in January but he suffered a setback with illness over the Christmas-New Year period.

While his second place at the nationals showed he had bounced back well, Gerrans was then off the pace at the Santos Tour Down Under.

Once it was clear he was not in contention to defend his title in Adelaide, the four-time Tour champion concentrated on his road captain responsibilities for Orica-Scott.

The team still shone, with sprinter Caleb Ewan scoring four wins and Esteban Chaves finishing runner-up.

But as Gerrans noted after Sunday's race, his season so far feels like a missed opportunity.

"We've had some really satisfying results, but we've missed out on a couple of big ones, too," he said.

"It's all encouraging results - I'm not going to make any excuses, I was really targeting this period.

"It's satisfying to come up into good shape even with a couple of setbacks along the way, but it is frustrating running second place.

"They were both every so close and it feels like in these races second is the worst place to finish."

Gerrans's last race of the Australian summer before heading overseas will be the Jayco Herald Sun Tour from Wednesday.

Jayco Herald Sun Tour heads to the mountains
Australia’s oldest stage race received a facelift for its 2017 route, with more hills and mountains on the menu as the local riders take on the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange).

Thursday's summit finish at Falls Creek means Chaves is their best chance of dethroning defending champion and three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome.

"It's looking good for next week, Esteban will be our leader for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour with the big summit finish at Falls Creek," Gerrans said.

"He's shown he's in great shape, so I think we're going to have a very, very competitive team."