As the single-race event that precedes the Santos Tour down Under, the Cancer Council Classic basically marks the official start of the Pro Tour road racing year. This is the first chance for us to see teams out with their new kits and equipment in an actual competitive scenario.
The Cancer Council Classic is a criterium – this year measuring 51 Km in length. Final glory went to Matthew Goss of HTC Columbia, followed immediately by team mate and lead out man extraordinaire Mark Renshaw. Robbie McEwen of Team RadioShack rounded out the top 3.
Intermediate sprint points were claimed by Luke Durbridge of UniSA-Australia in lap 5, twice by Gorka Izagirre of Euskaltel-Euskadi in laps 10 & 20, and new team Leopard-Trek‘s Martin Mortensen claimed lap 15.
The action was punctuated by a couple of crashes. One caught Stuart O’Grady (Leopard-Trek) and prevented him from making the time cut-off. Another, in the final turn of the final lap before the finish, caused enough chaos to hold up many in the peloton. This is presumably what resulted in the situation where Mark Renshaw was leading out Goss for team HTC Columbia as opposed to the favorite to win Mark Cavendish.