Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) gave an almost flawless performance to seal his second WorldTour race in a row at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal after winning in Quebec two days earlier. However the Australian admitted that his second win, and the manner in which he took it, will make him one of the most marked riders at the World Championships in Spain later this month.
Gerrans capped a dominant performance for Orica-GreenEdge, with Matt Hayman controlling an early break before the rest of the team set about positioning Gerrans for the final uphill sprint. The Liège Bastogne Liège winner was so strong he even had time to look back at his rivals before crossing the line. It was a dominant performance that will only highlight his credentials ahead of the Worlds.
"I couldn't have asked for better support and throughout the whole race I had fantastic support from the whole team. We had a plan for the whole day and they followed that perfectly. Again I'm just super happy to finish off their work with another win for Orica-GreenEdge," Gerrans said at his winner's press conference.
When asked by Cyclingnews if his second straight win would make him a marked man in Spain, Gerrans replied: "I think that's probably be the case at the Worlds but it's a hard course and I think that we're going to see the best guys with good legs in the final. I think that by wining the two races here in Canada I've shown that my form is right on track and I hope to be a real contender in a couple of weeks."
Gerrans' press conference was quickly wrapped up. He was set to travel back to Europe within hours of his triumph but as he walked towards his mandatory doping control he confirmed his plans as he continues to build up for Worlds.
"I'm heading home now and then I'll have a week or so at home before heading down to the Worlds. Now it's about resting up for a couple of days and then a final bit of training."
After his win in Quebec, Gerrans attempted to play down his chances for Worlds. There are a number of rivals who have competed at the Vuelta and there are those in Canada yet to peak and who will only improve over the Worlds' longer distance.
"Well maybe I just used up a bit more of the fumes today, I think," Gerrans told Cyclingnews. "Like I've said the other day I've been really calculating on how I use what energy I have left for the end of the season. There's one race to go in a couple of weeks and I hope to put in another good performance."
GreenEdge sports director Matt Wilson credited the teams ability on the day to put its trust in Gerrans' ability to execute a plan
Sport director Matt Wilson said the entire team had the utmost assurance in Gerrans' ability to execute a plan and reward his teammates for their hard work.
"On a hard race like this with a select group he is one of the fastest guys in the world and we are all supremely confident in him," Wilson said of Gerrans after the win. "Even despite that, the guys we have here at the finish [Michael] Albasini, [Daryl] Impey and even [Jens] Keukeleire as well, these are all world class guys in that sort of finish so when you put them all together, it's a pretty unbeatable combination."