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178 men took the start of the 262.7km world championship road race, riding 83km from Melbourne to Geelong, where they completed 11 laps of a 15.9km circuit. An inconsequential early breakaway contained Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukraine), Mohammed Said Elammoury (Morocco), Matthew Brammeier (Ireland), Diego Alejandro Tamayo (Colombia) and Jackson Rodriguez (Venezuela). Esad Hasanovic (Serbia) chased in no man’s land.
FIRST LAP Break has 23-minute gap coming onto circuit for first time. Elammoury (Morocco) dropped after one lap.
SECOND LAP Belgium rides the front. After 120km of racing, the peloton splits on the circuit’s second climb. Hushovd caught out. Spain and U.S. lead the second-group chase, while Belgium rides the front of the main group. Nibali (Italy) flats. The two main groups come back together by the third lap.
SEVENTH LAP Poels (Netherlands) attacks, and a group of 32 go clear, including Gilbert and two other Belgians, Evans and two other Australians, Nibali, Filippo Pozzato and two other Italians, Van Garderen (USA), and Brutt (Russia). Spain chases for peloton.
TENTH LAP A: Gerrans (Australia) drives on climb for Evans, then blows; Nibali attacks, Evans claws back. Group reduced to: Visconti, Pozzato and Nibali (Italy), Moerenhout and Poels (Netherlands), Wegmann (Germany), Gilbert (Belgium) and Van Garderen.
B: Nibali attacks again, and is caught by Sörensen (Denmark), Perez (Colombia), Visconti (Italy), Moerenhout (Netherlands). Evans (Australia) chases in 7-man group with Gilbert and Van Garderen. That group caught by another group, including Hushovd (Norway). They are trailing five by 20 seconds.
C: Group of five caught on second climb. Leukmans (Belgium) attacks, Gilbert and Pozzato follow. Evans bridges up, as do Kolobnev (Russia) and Terpstra (Netherlands). They are caught at the end of lap by a group of 34.
FINAL LAP A: The front group of 40 riders get the bell, including Freire (Spain), Hushovd and Schleck (Luxembourg). Bruseghin drives at front for Italy until he blows on the climb and the Belgians take over. Gilbert attacks solo. A chase group forms 15 seconds behind with Kolobnev, Evans, Schleck, Sorensen (Denmark), Leukemans, Martens (Germany).
B: 2.5km to go Group sweeps up front riders and Brutt attacks, followed by Brajkovic (Slovenia). Terpstra bridges up. Chase group of 37 is just 4 seconds behind.
C: 600m to go Terpstra opens his sprint. 250m to go Breschel (Denmark) opens sprint as trio is caught. 75m to go Hushovd jumps clear for the win ahead of Breschel, Davis (Australia) and Pozzato.