Sport

Drapac's Adam Phelan ready to spoil the Manx Missile's Cadel Evans Great Ocean party

Mark Cavendish is the greatest Tour de France sprinter of all time, but Canberra cyclist Adam Phelan is hoping to "spoil the party" for the "Manx Missile" at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday.

Phelan is an "aggressive and opportunistic" rider and he said his Drapac Professional Cycling team doesn't have a pure sprinter who can mix it with the likes of Cavendish so their best chance will come from being part of a breakaway.

He doubted the big professional teams will let a breakaway happen in the early part of the race and felt his best chance would be to get away near the end during the three laps of Geelong.

That's when he hopes to get the jump on the peloton and not allow it to come down to a sprint finish, which Cavendish will be hoping for.

Cavendish's 26 Tour de France stage wins puts him third on the all-time list behind the legendary Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault.

Phelan was relishing the chance to take on the some of the best riders in the world.

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"It's a course I think could suit me, it just depends how it's raced. There's a few sprinters who will want to keep it as a pretty solid group this year," Phelan said.

"The team doesn't really have a designated sprinter here who would be able to beat someone like Cav so we'll definitely be trying to spoil the party for riders like him."

Phelan's Drapac team is a professional continental team, which sits below the World Tour teams, and the 24-year-old is hoping he can get to that next level.

He rode at last week's Tour Down Under and after Cadel's race, Phelan will ride in the Herald Sun Tour before heading off to the Tour of Oman.

Phelan will then go to Europe with his Drapac team, where he's hoping his performances can help him catch the eye of a World Tour team.

"Drapac Professional Cycling is looking to grow as well. This is our third year of being a professional continental [team] and this year we're doing a lot more racing over in Europe," he said.

"After Sun Tour nearly all my races will be over in Europe for the rest of the year, so that opens up more opportunities as well to show yourself as a rider.

"Whether it's with this team or another team, the World Tour is where I want to go. That's the pinnacle of cycling so it's obviously a goal for most riders. I just have to continue doing well in the races."

Cadel's race starts Sunday at 11.10am, and will finish at about 3.30pm.

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