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Gilbert triumphs in GP Quebec City

Kirsten Frattini

Gesink narrowly settles for second place; Uran takes third

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) wins in Quebec City

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) wins in Quebec City

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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) Team Result
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 5:03:08  
2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:00:09  
4 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Leopard Trek 0:00:14  
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack 0:00:15  
6 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:23  
7 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
8 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:25  
9 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:30  
10 Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team Astana 0:00:47  
11 Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:01:17  
12 Grégory Rast (Swi) Team RadioShack 0:01:19  
13 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team 0:01:21  
14 Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling 0:01:23  
15 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
16 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:01:26  
17 Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
18 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team    
19 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling    
20 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ    
21 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team    
22 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar    
23 Anders Lund (Den) Leopard Trek    
24 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
25 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar    
26 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
27 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:39  
28 Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:42  
29 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
30 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ 0:01:57  
31 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ 0:02:10  
32 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:02:18  
33 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard    
34 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard    
35 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team    
36 Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShack    
37 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha Team    
38 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar    
39 Svein Tuft (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
40 Ryan Roth (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
41 Bruno Pires (Por) Leopard Trek    
42 Francesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team    
43 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team    
44 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:02:28  
45 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
46 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:12  
47 Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
48 Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ    
49 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Pro Team Astana    
50 Hayden Roulston (NZl) HTC-Highroad 0:03:24  
51 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:04:04  
52 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
53 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:25  
54 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:04:37  
55 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
56 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:04:43  
57 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:05:12  
58 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:40  
59 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
60 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana    
61 Sergey Renev (Kaz) Pro Team Astana    
62 Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
63 Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale    
64 Edward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale    
65 Julien Vermote (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
66 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team    
67 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ    
68 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
69 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ    
70 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
71 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
72 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad    
73 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
74 Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale    
75 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:09:28  
76 Jesús Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:12:23  
DNF Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Óscar Pujol Muñoz (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
DNF Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling    
DNF Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling    
DNF Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
DNF Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
DNF Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
DNF Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
DNF Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
DNF David Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
DNF Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Iván Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    
DNF Stefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard Trek    
DNF Brice Feillu (Fra) Leopard Trek    
DNF Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek    
DNF Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek    
DNF Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Thimothy Roe (Aus) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad    
DNF Caleb Fairly (USA) HTC-Highroad    
DNF Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad    
DNF Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad    
DNF Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad    
DNF Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad    
DNF Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF David Loosli (Swi) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Laurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank Sungard    
DNF Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard    
DNF Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard    
DNF André Steensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard    
DNF Brian Vandborg (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard    
DNF Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack    
DNF Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack    
DNF Robert Hunter (RSA) Team RadioShack    
DNF Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack    
DNF Jason McCartney (USA) Team RadioShack    
DNF Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team    
DNF Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team    
DNF Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team    
DNF Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team    
DNF Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team    
DNF Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team    
DNF Allan Davis (Aus) Pro Team Astana    
DNF Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana    
DNF Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Pro Team Astana    
DNF Javier Iriarte (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team    
DNF Addy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team    
DNF Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team    
DNF Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ    
DNF Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
DNF Francois Parisien (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
DNF Ryan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
DNF Zachary Bell (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
DNF Martin Gilbert (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
DNF Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
DNF Will Routley (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10