Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race returns to Geelong this weekend: Here’s the best viewing spots

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Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race returns to Geelong this weekend: Here’s the best viewing spots

Image: Peoples Ride. Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2019
Words by staff writer

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race returns better than ever in 2024 as the world’s cycling elite journey to Geelong and the Surf Coast for Australia's greatest weekend of cycling.

Inspired by Europe’s prestigious one-day classics, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is the first of its kind in Australia. Rapidly embraced at a local and international level as an outstanding competition and spectator experience, the famed race returns to Geelong once again featuring more of our beautiful Bellarine Peninsula.

The five-day cycling showcase will weave its way through the scenic roads of the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast regions from Wednesday, 24 January to Sunday, 28 January.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2024

Wednesday 24 January: Twilight Elite Women’s Criterium – Geelong Eastern Park

Starts at Eastern Park at 5:30pm with a criterium course.

 Thursday 25 January: Elite Men’s Race (UCI 1.1) – Surf Coast & The Otways

Starts in Lorne at 11.00am with 100 pro-cyclists. Finishes in Torquay.

Friday 26 January: GeelongPort Family Ride – Geelong Waterfront

Starts at the Geelong Waterfront at 6:00pm. Participate in a one-hour, free family fun ride with a 1.3km criterium course along the Waterfront. Register to participate.

Saturday 27 January: TAC People’s Ride – Greater Geelong

Starts on the Geelong Waterfront at 7:00am. Enjoy new courses and a changed direction to ride. Includes 35km, 50km and 125km options, catering for cyclists of all levels. Register to participate!

Saturday 27 January: Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race – Geelong, Bellarine & Surf Coast

Starts in Geelong at 12:35pm with riders expected to pass through Bells Beach and Torquay between 1.45pm and 2:25pm. Same course as 2023. Start and finishes on the Geelong Waterfront.

Sunday 28 January: Elite Men’s Race (UCI WorldTour) – Geelong, Bellarine & Surf Coast

Starts in Geelong at 11:10am with riders expected to pass through Bells Beach and Torquay between 12:15pm and 12:50pm. Same course as 2023. Start and finishes on the Geelong Waterfront.

Keep up with the latest in local news and entertainment here.


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The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is thrilled to feature mid-week races for both Men’s and Women’s teams, held across separate days for the first time.

Take in the unique buzz of a UCI WorldTour cycling event with an abundance of opportunity to have front row viewing – for free – get ready to be impressed!

For families – be part of this festival of cycling by participating in the GeelongPort Family Ride along the picturesque Geelong Waterfront. It’s something the whole family will enjoy and it’s free.

For those who love their bikes, there’s the TAC People’s Ride, with 35km, 50km and 125km options, catering for cyclists of all levels. This is a chance to ride on the same roads as the pros, and highlighted by Challambra – a climb for those doing the longest distance to choose to conquer (or bypass).

Looking to its significance to the region, the event immediately became part of Australian cycling history as it marked Cadel Evans’ final professional race. Spectators took to the streets of Geelong in 2015 for the last chance to see Australia’s most decorated cyclist compete. Despite a courageous race Cadel finished fifth, which was testament to the inaugural event’s ability to attract the top-ranking teams and riders.

In 2016, Cadel returned but this time he joined thousands of cycling enthusiasts in the Swisse People’s Ride. Since then, over 3000 participants of all ages and abilities take part each year – and this year is looking to be its biggest yet.

Where to watch 2024 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

There are official cheer-sites around the course where spectators can take advantage of the best viewing points during the race.


The Velo Village is the place to go to enjoy the build-up to the race as teams are introduced to the crowd, the riders are introduced to the crowd, the riders sign-on and they finalise their preparations before taking on the gruelling course. Fans can get up close to watch their favourite stars prepare.

Enjoy the action on the big screen, participate in sponsor activities, enjoy the live entertainment, grab some food and beverage, grab your official event merchandise and then grab a spot on the barriers so that you can catch a glimpse of what promises to be an exciting finale to the elite women’s and men’s road races.

How to get there:
Public transport is the best way to arrive at the Start/Finish Precinct. Take the train to Geelong Station and a 10-minute walk to the Start/Finish Precinct. If driving, once in Geelong avoid Western Beach and Eastern Beach Road, as well as between Moorabool and Bellarine Streets as there will be road closures. Instead, use Princes Highway, Latrobe Terrace, Mercer Street, Malop Street or Ryrie Street.

Top tip: The biggest crowds will gather here and so parking will be at a premium and affected by road closures for the event. Arrive early and be prepared for a short walk from your car and your parking spot, or from the train station.


Big crowds will gather in picturesque Barwon Heads, the hometown of Cadel Evans, where the peloton will navigate Thirteenth Beach Road before flying across the Barwon Heads Bridge for Intermediate Sprint points on offer.

Grab a bite at a local eatery, visit the shops or hit the local recreational riding trails while in the town. A good unofficial rest stop for the TAC People’s Ride peloton.

How to get there:
For spectators, the best access is via Barwon Heads road. For parking, try Flinders Parade, Bridge Road near the IGA. Avoid parking on Barwon Heads-Ocean Grove Road, Bridge Road and Ewing Blyth Drive as it’s part of the course.

Top tip: Don’t be late if you want to see the riders pass by. Get there early, you have some of the best eateries and cafes to keep you entertained ahead of the race passing through.


See the agony on the faces of the world’s best cyclists as they trade blows up the steep Challambra climb, made famous by the 2010 UCI Road World Championships.

The Elite Men tackle this climb four times on Sunday, while the Elite Women race over Challambra Crescent twice on their way to the finish on Saturday.

How to get there: Arrive early to beat the crowds and traffic management treatments. If coming from Melbourne or the Surf Coast use the Princes Freeway and either take the Barrabool Road off ramp* or Princes Highway off ramp and come up via South Valley Road. If coming from central Geelong, why not ride your bike? *This is part of the course so please arrive early.

Parking: The closest off-street parking is Barrabool Hills Plaza or Highton Village. There is limited on-street parking, but we ask that you are respectful when parking on the street in front of residential properties. Mt Pleasant Road is a good option with a walk from here. Please don’t park on the course.


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To ensure the safety of the participants and the community, traffic alterations will be in place throughout these events days to ensure the safety of riders, spectators, and residents.

The rolling road closure is expected to pass through the course within 15-20 minutes. This will be supported by some fixed road closures to assist in keeping the course roads free of traffic when the event comes through. All major intersections will remain open, except when the race passes.

Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times during the event via existing footpaths. Where roads are closed for short periods, access across roads will be via marshalled course crossing points.

It is advised to allow extra travel time on event days in case you experience short delays whilst travelling near the course.

Find out more about the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and how you can get involved at