Gilbert triumphs in GP Quebec City

Gesink narrowly settles for second place; Uran takes third

Belgian National Champion Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) took a nail-biting victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. He entered the race as the favourite to win and did not disappoint, nabbing the victory by a hair ahead of Dutchman Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Rigoberto Uran (Sky Pro Cycling).

"It was a very difficult race today," Gilbert said. "Sky imposed a very strong tempo from the start and there were stages when we were going 60kph and everyone was tired. Six laps from the finish, Rabobank took over and everyone was tired. There were 10 riders together at the end and I was the strongest man.

"I tried to go on my own but I couldn't," he said. "I waited for the attack on the last climb and it was not easy because Gesink was behind me doing well. When a rider is chasing you on a climb at the finish he sees you like a target, so it is easier for a guy like that. After 700 metres I went, relaxed a little bit, and made another go, where I could relax with and enjoy my victory."

Gilbert made his initial move on the penultimate climb up the Cote de la Montagne. He was followed by rival Gesink along with Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Rigoberto Uran (Sky Pro Cycling), Fabian Wegmann (Leopard Trek), Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale), Simon Clarke (Astana), Gerald Ciolek (Quick Step) and Bjorn Leukemnas and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM).

Gilbert continued to force his own pace and ended up riding solo through the start-finish line with one lap to go and down the descent through the Parc des Champs-De-Bataille. However, the chase group of strong one-day contenders brought him back along the Boulevard Champlain before the finale climb.

"I decided to go because I wanted to make the race tougher," Gilbert said. "I believed a few riders would follow but I found myself alone. I think it was necessary because in the end we had a strong group and everyone was motivated and it was a good move."

Leipheimer set the pace on the last climb, countered by a strong attack from Gesink. Uran showed his good form when he quickly caught on to Gesink's wheel on the climb, followed by Gilbert. The small lead group reunited at the top of the climb through the technical short circuit with three kilometres to go.

Gilbert forced another strong attack with two kilometres to go. Gesink followed roughly 5 seconds back desperately trying to bring back the Belgian before the finish line. Gesink closed the gap down to roughly a bike length with several metres to the finish line. However, he could not pass Gilbert who won the race and satisfied his season's goals by moving into the lead of the UCI wold ranking, surpassing Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).

"I think I was stronger than last year, today," said Gesink who place third at the event in 2010 and won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal. "In the end when I crossed the finish line I wasn't really happy. I was really close. It was a nice race in the beginning, a little too slow if you ask me, with only three breakaway riders. But, we started an early final and the race was on. It was a great final and for the people who saw it on television the finish looked easy, but I can tell you that it was not."

Salerno, Hurel and Herrada breakaway caught in the final third

A top-class peloton that included 18 WorldTour teams and four wild card Professional Continental teams lined up to start the Grande Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. The 201.6km event will begin in the downtown core on Saint-Louis, held on 16 laps of a 12.6km circuit.

The peloton descended through the picturesque Park Des Champs-De-Bataille, raced along the Boulevard Champlain beside the Saint Lawrence River before starting the steep ascent up the Cote de la Montagne. It was a technical circuit through narrow and undulating streets of the old city before returning back onto Saint Louis for a shallow grade uphill to the finish line.

The previous day's sprint winner Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) and Will Routely (SpiderTech p/b C10) were the first two riders to stretch their legs off of the start line. The pair made their move on the tricky descent through the Parc des Champs-De-Bataille, only a few kilometres into the race.

Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-ISD) was the next rider to make his move along the Boulevard Champlain created a small gap ahead of the peloton on the climb up the Cote de Montagne. Several riders attempted to bridge across resulting in the demise of Balloni's solo breakaway and the peloton reunited before the start of the second lap.

The next blow to the field involved a breakaway with Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and Cristiano Salerno (Liquigas-Cannondale). The pair were quickly joined by Tony Hurel (Europcar) along the Boulevard Champlain on the second lap.

The trio worked together during the following three laps in order to gain a maximum of 4:25 minutes ahead of the peloton. Herrada picked up full points on each KOM ascent on the Cote de la Montagne. Although points were offered on each ascent, they increased as the race progressed, with the bulk of the points awarded during the final three laps. However, Herrada sewed up the KOM competition during the lengthy breakaway.

Sky Pro Cycling, including Canadian Michael Barry, set a strong tempo at the front of the field for its teammates Simon Gerrans and Tour de France stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen, who placed second to Thomas Voeckler last year. Barry earned the event's Best Canadian Rider award after placing 14th on the day.

"We started the race today with three protected riders Rigoberto Uran, Simon Gerrans and Edvald," Barry said. "The course suited all of them, so we started the stage knowing that it would be our responsibility to control the race. We started riding on the front right away, once the gap got up to seven minutes."

Salerno, Hurel and Herrado's efforts came to an end with four laps to go when Sky Pro Cycling successfully reeled them back in, resetting the bike race for the closing kilometres. Garmin-Cervelo moved its riders to the front of the field to take over the pace making for its Canadian talent Ryder Hesjedal.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo) put forth a strong dig following the Cote de la Montagne. He was joined by eight additional riders Lars Nordhaug (Sky Pro Cycling), Tom Stamsnijder (Leopard Trek), Jan Ghyselinck (HTC-Highroad), Phil Deignan (RadioShack), Maciej Paterski (Liquigas-Cannondale), Alberto Faria and Luis Pasamontes (Movistar) and Matteo Trentin (Quick Step).

The Cote de la Montagne started to take its toll on the peloton as several riders were spotted swerving back and forth just to get up it. Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was forced to pull off to the side with a leg cramp. Another notable rider who fell off pace in the closing laps was Boasson Hagen.

Trentin made a second move following a strong attach on the decisive climb, joined again by Faria, and the rest were reeled back into the field. Barry did the lion's share of the work to bring back the two breakaway riders for his Sky Pro Cycling teammates.

His fellow countryman Svein Tuft (SpiderTech p/b C10) was the next to make a move on the descent through the Parc des Champs-De-Bataille. He was followed by Trentin, Faria and Javier Iriarte (Movistar), Jason McCartney (RadioShack), Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad) and Gorazd Stangelj (Astana) with two laps to go.

"The final was much harder than it was last year," Barry said. "The race was much more selective because Rabobank opened it up with five laps to go and started attacking hard. In the end Rigoberto ended up in a breakaway of 10 riders and behind there were three of us covering attacks to make sure no one else went across, and that was his chance to have a go at the victory. We are happy with third place, the team rode really well and we will try to do the same again on Sunday."

The peloton will reunited on the start line on Sunday at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto5:03:08 
2Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
3Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling0:00:09 
4Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Leopard Trek0:00:14 
5Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack0:00:15 
6Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:23 
7Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
8Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:25 
9Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:30 
10Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team Astana0:00:47 
11Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Por) Movistar Team0:01:17 
12Grégory Rast (Swi) Team RadioShack0:01:19 
13Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team0:01:21 
14Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling0:01:23 
15Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
16Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:26 
17Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
18Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team  
19Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling  
20Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ  
21Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team  
22David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar  
23Anders Lund (Den) Leopard Trek  
24Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
25Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
26Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
27Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:39 
28Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:42 
29Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
30Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ0:01:57 
31Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ0:02:10 
32Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling0:02:18 
33Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard  
34Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
35Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team  
36Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShack  
37Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha Team  
38Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar  
39Svein Tuft (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
40Ryan Roth (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
41Bruno Pires (Por) Leopard Trek  
42Francesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team  
43Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team  
44Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank Sungard0:02:28 
45Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
46Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:12 
47Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
48Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ  
49Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Pro Team Astana  
50Hayden Roulston (NZl) HTC-Highroad0:03:24 
51Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ0:04:04 
52Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
53David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:25 
54Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:37 
55Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
56Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:04:43 
57Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:05:12 
58Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:05:40 
59Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
60Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana  
61Sergey Renev (Kaz) Pro Team Astana  
62Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
63Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale  
64Edward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale  
65Julien Vermote (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
66George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team  
67Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ  
68Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
69Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ  
70Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
71Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar  
72Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad  
73Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
74Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale  
75Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:09:28 
76Jesús Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team0:12:23 
DNFBart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFMaarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFÓscar Pujol Muñoz (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFKlaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFSven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFJuan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling  
DNFJeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling  
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling  
DNFStef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFGrischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFLaurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFJos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFThomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFMichel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFThomas Peterson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFPeter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFMatthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFDavid Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFSamuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFMiguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFAlan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFRomain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFIván Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFStefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard Trek  
DNFBrice Feillu (Fra) Leopard Trek  
DNFMartin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek  
DNFAlessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFJeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFAmaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team  
DNFYannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
DNFThimothy Roe (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFTejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad  
DNFCaleb Fairly (USA) HTC-Highroad  
DNFPatrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad  
DNFGatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad  
DNFDanny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad  
DNFMarco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad  
DNFAlfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFGrega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFDavid Loosli (Swi) Lampre - ISD  
DNFEnrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFDaniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD  
DNFSimon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - ISD  
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFJesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFDaniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFAndré Steensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFBrian Vandborg (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFManuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack  
DNFBen Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack  
DNFRobert Hunter (RSA) Team RadioShack  
DNFBenjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack  
DNFJason McCartney (USA) Team RadioShack  
DNFMauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFCristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFSylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale  
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team  
DNFDanilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team  
DNFSerguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFPetr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFEgor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFNikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team  
DNFAllan Davis (Aus) Pro Team Astana  
DNFMaxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana  
DNFYevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Pro Team Astana  
DNFJavier Iriarte (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFEnrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFAddy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFNiki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFJean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMartin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFSébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFBlel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFJohn Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFChristophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFPierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFTony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFPerrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFPierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFJean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFTristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFRomain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFFrancois Parisien (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
DNFRyan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
DNFZachary Bell (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
DNFMartin Gilbert (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
DNFJonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
DNFWill Routley (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  

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