• Liane Lippert celebrates with her team Sunweb after winning the first WorldTour race of 2020, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Lianne Lippert soloed to victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in conditions resembling a European one-day classic that grounded the broadcaster's helicopters.
Cycling Central

1 Feb 2020 - 5:33 PM  UPDATED 1 Feb 2020 - 6:52 PM

With the women's Cadel Race bumped up to WorldTour status for the first time, it seemed like the weather was marking the occasion bringing authentic, one-day classic style conditions.

Race pictures were not really available 30 kilometres from the finish with Robbie McEwen doing his best to bring some pictures via Skype on the race moto. 

But Lippert and her merry Sunweb band relished the conditions. 

"We are all from Europe so the Netherlands, Germany, British, so we are used to it," she said. 

"And I think it was a good factor for us so we made the race hard in the wind the whole race."

The German made it over the punishing Challambra climb with a select group of 10 riders - including Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott), Chloe Hosking (Rally), Brodie Chapman (FDJ) and defending champion Arlenis Sierra (Astana) - using a smaller rise, seven kilometres from the finish as a launch pad for her daring raid. 

"I felt really good so I attacked on the final uphill part after the bridge and I never looked back then I just saw I won the race and it's amazing."  

And while she won the race solo, Lippert said there was only one reason she won today - her team mates. 

"They protected me the whole day. They played a really important role also in the final without (them) I couldn't have won this race."

The 22-year-old leaves the Australian summer armed with an impressive set of results and jerseys for the cupboard - second overall at the Tour Down Under including the young rider and KOM classifications - and now the first women's WorldTour event for 2020. 

The five-rider break of the day formed after the first intermediate sprint which Thai rider Jutatip Maneephan (Alé BTC Ljubljana) claimed. 

Minke Bakker (Doltcini - Van Eyck Sport), Silvia Valsecchi (Bepink), Maaike Boogaard (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Jade Wiel (FDJ), and Madeline Wright (Roxsolt Attaquer) built a maximum four-minute advantage 44km from the finish, which drastically reduced over the following 10 kilometres as Hosking's Rally Cycling team worked hard to peg back the deficit. But the escape was doomed, the catch made on the apporach to Challambara. 

Aussie Chapman took the KOM on the steep pitch as a 14-rider crash neutralised the race for a number of kilometres until the select group pulled clear.