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Gesink wins in Montreal

Kirsten Frattini

Sagan, Hesjedal round out top three

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) captured his first one-day ProTour event victory in solo fashion at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal on Sunday. The Dutchman attacked on the last of 16 laps and held off a chase group by just four seconds to take the win ahead of Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions).

"I'm really excited to win this race," said Gesink. "I saw the course for the first time yesterday and I thought it was a really good one for me. I am really happy and this is a really big victory for me.

"I didn't think I was going to be able to hold it because I was suffering, especially at the end when the group almost caught me," he added. "The whole last lap I doubted whether or not I could finish. There was no use in thinking about that but it was really painful seeing the guys coming behind. I just had enough at the end."

Gesink attacked the some 40 riders left in the peloton the last time over the circuit's decisive Ch. Camilien-Houde ascent to the top of Mont Royal. He orbited the final nine kilometres with a slim eight-second lead ahead of a six-man chase that included Sagan and Hesjedal, plus Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing), Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack) and Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia).

A tactical battle amongst the riders in the chase group lead to a disorganised effort and they were unable to close the four-second gap to Gesink. Boasson Hagen crashed through the U-turn with 500 metres to the finish line, making Sagan the odds-on favourite to take second place.

"Robert was already too far ahead when it was time to sprint," said Sagan. "There were four or five in my group but I think it was pretty obvious that Robert had already won the race."

Hesjedal was pleased with a podium result, having placed fourth in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City two days prior. He exited the final U-turn first and held on for second place in the sprint.

"This weekend has been more than good and a real learning experience for me," the Canadian explained. "To have the honour of wearing the number one bib here, what can I say? I rode as best as I could. My team was amazing and helped to control the race. They left it all out there for me."

"Congrats to Peter [Sagan]," he added. "I didn't have the pleasure of seeing his breakout rides in Paris-Nice but he is a great rider and he showed that today so I can't be upset with a third place here, it was amazing. In the big picture it was life changing to come and race here after the season that I had."

World-class racing returns to Mont Royal

Some 170 ProTour riders lined up on the Avenue du Parc, at the base of a climb to the top of Mont Royal in excess of three kilometres. The same course was used in the 1974 World Championships won by Eddy Merckx, the 1976 Olympic road race and the site of many men's and women's World Cup events over the last two decades. The circuit was 12.6km and the men contested 16 laps for a total of 193.6km.

A highly animated first lap resulted in a breakaway that included Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Caisse d'Epargne), Julien Bernard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-Farnese Vini). The five men were later joined by Kevin Seeldraeyers (Quick Step).

The breakaway was reduced to four riders when it lost two on the third lap. Bernard fell off the pace on the ascent and Balloni crashed into the ditch on the Ch. Remembrance descent. Meanwhile, Adam Hansen (HTC-Columbia) made a valiant effort to bridge across to the breakaway when he attacked over the crest of the climb.

He established a maximum of gap of 50 seconds' gap ahead of the field but remained in no-man's land for nearly three full laps before conceding to the peloton's chase.

The four leaders worked together long enough to establish three minutes of padding over the peloton. Spain's Madrazo Ruiz took the early lead in the King of the Mountain competition but not without a fight from countryman Izagirre, Tjallingii and Seeldraeyers.

Team Sky lead the chase with a tempo fast enough to keep the breakaway at a manageable distance. Chances were good that its sprinter Edvald Boasson Hagen could win the race after he placed second in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. RadioShack was also attentive at the front of the field working for its strongman Haimar Zubeldia.

With five laps to go, RadioShack let loose a series of attacks on the steep section of Mont Royal. Markel Irizar was the first to make a move followed by Chris Horner and Tiago Machado. The pair counter attacked and formed a chase group that also included Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Doimo), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank) and Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini). The chasers successfully bridged across to the lead group of four riders before the start of the next lap.

With four laps to go, Machado, Horner, Sorensen, Oss and Gavazzi opened up a one minute lead as the teams in the bunch like Rabobank, Quick Step, BBox Bouygues Telecom, BMC Racing, Garmin-Transitions and Euskaltel-Euskadi scrambled to get organised.

Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) set a strong tempo heading into the climb that allowed his teammate Ryder Hesjedal to afford an attack. Hesjedal was closely followed by Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank); however, his effort was not strong enough to create a separation in the long line of climbers.

"I wouldn't say that I was conservative today but it was my game plan to stick with the strongest guys," Hesjedal said. "After the main climb there was still a lot of road to go."

Horner, Gavazzi and Sorensen continued on with a mere 14-second lead, joined by bridging riders Cyril Gautier (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Andre Steensen (Saxo Bank) and Wesley Sulzberger (FDJ).

"There was a strong group in front and the team had to work really hard, which they did," explained Gesink. "We had help from Ryder's team too and I ad to wait and wait until it was the right moment to try to make a difference."

Rabobank and Garmin-Transitions, working for their respective riders Gesink and Hesjedal, successfully caught all breakaway riders with one lap to go where Gesink to made his winning attack. "It was obvious I had to wait until the last lap," Gesink said. "I thought it was the best place to gain time on the others, if that was possible, and then to make time to the finish line."


# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 4:58:22  
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:04  
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions    
4 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team Radioshack    
5 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia    
6 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:00:09  
7 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:14  
8 Alexander Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha    
9 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
10 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
11 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
12 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
13 Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step    
14 Thibaut Jpinot (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
15 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
16 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step    
17 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana    
18 José Joaquim Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
19 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha    
20 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Astana    
21 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
22 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack    
23 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram    
24 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack 0:00:18  
25 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
26 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack    
27 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
28 Julien Elfares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
29 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step    
30 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini 0:00:29  
31 Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:37  
32 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram 0:00:41  
33 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:49  
34 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:55  
35 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:02:02  
36 Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
37 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram    
38 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
39 Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
40 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
41 Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Footon-Servetto 0:02:11  
42 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:43  
43 Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Katusha    
44 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
45 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
46 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
47 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank    
48 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team    
49 Evgueny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha    
50 Marcus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto    
51 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step    
52 Tristan Valenttin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:03:32  
53 Laurent Didier (Lux) Team Saxo Bank    
54 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank    
55 André Steensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
56 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux 0:04:32  
57 Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Transitions 0:04:51  
58 Diego Julissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 0:06:58  
59 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions 0:08:46  
60 Dario Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
61 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank    
62 Craig Lewis (USA) Team HTC - Columbia 0:09:02  
63 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team    
64 Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Astana    
65 Will Routley (Can) Canada    
66 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
67 Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo    
68 Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions    
69 François Parisien (Can) Canada    
70 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
71 David Le Lay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
72 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia    
73 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack    
74 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha    
75 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha    
76 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
77 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
78 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank    
79 Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
80 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:09:14  
81 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
82 Fabio Jfelline (Ita) Footon-Servetto    
83 Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team    
84 Anthony Charteau (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
85 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
86 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:11:48  
87 Dominique Rollin (Can) Canada    
88 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne 0:14:32  
89 Angel Jmadrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
90 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
91 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
HD David Jboily (Can) Canada 0:21:56  
DNF Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions    
DNF Timmy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Transitions    
DNF Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions    
DNF Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions    
DNF Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Miguel Jminguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank    
DNF Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank    
DNF Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank    
DNF Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Radioshack    
DNF Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack    
DNF Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
DNF Davide Jcimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
DNF Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo    
DNF Elia Jviviani (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
DNF Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step    
DNF Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step    
DNF Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step    
DNF Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step    
DNF Kurt Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
DNF Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
DNF Serge Pauwels (Bel) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
DNF Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
DNF Davide Vigano (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
DNF Anthony Roux (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF Marco Bandiera (Ita) Team Katusha    
DNF Khalilov Mikhaylo (Ukr) Team Katusha    
DNF John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Alfredo Jballoni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
DNF Enrico Jmagazzini (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
DNF David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
DNF Gert Jdockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia    
DNF Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia    
DNF Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia    
DNF Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia    
DNF Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia    
DNF Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne    
DNF Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram    
DNF Dominik Jnerz (Ger) Team Milram    
DNF Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram    
DNF Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram    
DNF Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Astana    
DNF Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana    
DNF Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana    
DNF Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Astana    
DNF Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Christophe Brandt (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Francis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Charles Wegelius (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Footon-Servetto    
DNF Marco Corti (Ita) Footon-Servetto    
DNF Noé Jgianetti (Swi) Footon-Servetto    
DNF Yohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
DNF Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
DNF Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
DNF Chad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Guillaume Jboivin (Can) Canada    
DNF Keven Lacombe (Can) Canada    
DNF Rob Britton (Can) Canada    
DNF Ryan Anderson (Can) Canada    
DNS Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo    
DNS Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana    
DNS Vidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Footon-Servetto    
Best climber
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Angel Jmadrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
Best Canadian
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions    
Most Combative rider
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions