French road champion Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom) made a well-timed attack in the final 800 metres to take victory in North America's first-ever ProTour race at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) out-paced a dwindled chase group to take second place ahead of Robert Gesink (Rabobank).
"I was very surprised to win this race because I was expecting to be in the top ten but nothing better," Voeckler said. "I arrived at this race not in the best shape. I was lucky because I was able to take advantage of the breakaway riders who did a lot of work and the teams that worked hard to bring back the break. There were fifteen laps and I had plenty of time to memorize that last climb. I knew exactly where I should attack and that is what I did."
Team Sky did much of the day's work to reduce the time margin to a late-race breakaway that included several threatening riders. Their sprinter, Boasson Hagen, was still in contention for the win and the team received some help from Euskaltel-Euskadi working for the Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez.
"The team did a really good job to control the race all day," Boasson Hagen said. "I was hurting on the last lap but I'm thankful for all the help from them. I couldn't close down the first rider and I was hoping that two or more riders would help, I got second place and I am happy with that. Of course I would like to have won but I am happy with all the work my team did."
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) was the top-placed Canadian rider in fourth and was not disappointed in his performance despite being the odds-on favourite to win. He left it all on the road in a late-race attack on the Cote de la Montagne's steep ascent through Old Quebec City. He bridged across to Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) and Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) with Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Fabian Wagmann (Team Milram) who also joined the threatening breakaway of five riders.
"I was looking to stand on the podium, maybe the top step and I came close," Hesjedal said. "I came here to make the race and make it hard to give myself an opportunity so I'm happy with the result. The crowds were amazing and it was a great day so I'm not disappointed. It was amazing, the fans here were overwhelming and it really lifted me."
"I felt good on the last climb, was in my big chain ring," he added. "It was a big effort and I had the legs to do that. I was committed to the move and was happy to get there with those guys closing in on us. People were looking at me to drive the break and I initiated that attack. Maybe if we had more riders in the move it would have been a lot stronger."
Voeckler was a part of a small chase group that bridged across to the breakaway in the final few kilometres of the race.
"Obviously the show today was for Ryder," Voeckler said. "I'm sorry to say but I am glad to spoil his show. That is cycling. In the Grand Prix de Plouay, I was the star. I realized here that Ryder has become a great star in this country because he was seventh at the Tour de France and it was only natural that he should be the star."
ProTour madness sweeps through Old Quebec City
Riders called to the line included two-time Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini), French national champion Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia), US national champion George Hincapie (BMC Racing), Olympic gold medallist Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions), Jens Voight (Saxo Bank) and Canadian national champion Will Routley (Team Canada). Noticeably absent from the start line was Canadian Michael Barry (Team Sky) who is recovering from a set of broken ribs.
The early breakaway of seven riders included Markel Irizar and Jaroslav Popovych (RadioShack), Daniel Oss (Liquigas Doimo), Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank), Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-Farnese Vini), Dominik Nerz (Team Milram) and Bruno Langlois (Team Canada).
The lead riders wrapped around the Cote Gilmore and traced the St Lawrence River toward the walls of Old Quebec City for the circuit's steep one-kilometre climb. The narrow roads continued to twist and turn before passing in and out of the walled city through the doors to the city, Porte St Jean and Porte St Louis and back to the start finish line.
Roman Kireyev (Astana) was the first rider to go down and was sidelined from the race on the second lap. The Kazakhstan rider's front wheel hit a hole in the road and he was thrown from his bike onto the pavement. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) benefited from a swift bike change from his teammate following a flat tire on the circuit's KOM. Another rider who experienced technical difficulty was former world champion Allessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) who had to dismount his bike twice throughout the race for mechanical support.
The breakaway battle up the Cote de la Montagne
The breakaway reshuffled and the time margin exploded to more than three minutes on the third lap. Original breakaway riders, Balloni, Irizar, Nerz, Popovych were joined by Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank), Francois Parisien (Team Canada), Jurgen van de Walle (Quick Step), Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ), Julien Fouchard (Cofidis), Sebastien Turgot (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Elia Viviani and Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Doimo) Bram Tankink (Rabobank) and Maxim Gourov (Astana).
The king of the mountain ascent was located mid-circuit on the Cote de la Montagne. The short but steep climb wound its way passed one of the historical Canadian-Pacific hotels Le Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec City on each lap. It was also the event hotel and riders were spotted veering off course during the race to call it a day.
Both Popovych and Viviani won the first two ascents. However, as the race progressed, Fuglsang put pressure on the narrow ascent in an effort to gain some points for himself. He was quickly followed by Irizar and the pair gained a small lead ahead of their breakaway companions on the third lap. He collected full points in the KOM and went on to win the following three ascent sprints, gaining a sizable lead as in the KOM competition ahead of Viviani and Popovych.
Fuglsang tallied 24 points with five laps to go and with only 15 available points remaining, he secured his win in the event's Best Climber category ahead of Viviani and Popovych who both fell off the breakaway's pace in the closing laps.
Who will lead the chase?
The breakaway continued to hold a more than four minute lead ahead of a seemingly unconcerned peloton that gingerly road around the circuit until five laps to go. Euskaltel-Euskadi decided to take the reins and put forth a concerted effort to reduce the time gap with help from Team Sky.
Fuglsang continued to put pressure on the ascent each lap and effectively reduced the breakaway down to just seven riders that included Balloni, Irizar, Van De Walle, Nerz, Tankink and Agnoli. Riders that fell off pace included Gourov, Popovych, Turgot, Parisien, Fouchard, Viviani and Veikkanen. Nerz made a move on the ascent with three laps to go and Fuglsang in tow. However, their efforts were short lived and they reunited with their five breakaway companions.
The rest of the peloton continued in pursuit of the breakaway reducing the gap to under two minutes with three laps to go. Euskaltel-Euskadi added more man-power to the chase in good faith that Sanchez could deliver a victory. Team Sky aided in the chase effort, riding for sprinter Edvald Boasson Hagen and the peloton stretched out along the Saint Lawrence River.
The first attack came from Mirko Salvaggi (Astana) following on the Cote de la Montagne with two laps to go. Anthony Charteau (BBox Bouygues Telecom) was the next rider to make a move and he quickly joined Salvaggi off the front.
With two laps to go, the peloton caught the remnants of the breakaway. A crash occurred through the start-finish straightaway that included George Hincapie (BMC Racing) Janez Brakovic (RadioShack) and Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).
Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) jumped out of the field with Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) on the climb. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) made his first appearance of the day when he jumped form the peloton with Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Fabian Wagmann (Team Milram) who formed a new breakaway of five riders.
But the quintet was reeled back in, and as the leaders took a brief respite, Voeckler launched his winning attack and couldn't believe his good luck as he crossed the line.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||4:35:27|
|2||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:00:01|
|3||Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank|
|4||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions|
|5||Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|6||Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|7||Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram|
|8||Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia|
|9||Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step|
|10||Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|11||Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team Radioshack|
|12||Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|13||Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux|
|14||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|15||Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|16||David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Astana||0:00:09|
|17||Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack|
|18||Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|19||Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo|
|20||Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Transitions|
|21||Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions||0:00:14|
|22||Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha|
|23||Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank||0:00:18|
|24||Keven Lacombe (Can) Canada||0:00:20|
|25||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Française Des Jeux||0:00:23|
|26||Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions||0:00:29|
|27||Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram|
|28||Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|29||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|30||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step|
|31||David Veilleux (Can) Canada|
|32||Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia|
|33||Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|34||Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia|
|35||Evgueny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|36||Charles Dionne (Can) Canada|
|37||Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux|
|38||Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack|
|39||Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Footon-Servetto|
|40||Julien Elfares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|41||José Joaquim Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|42||Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step|
|43||Dominique Rollin (Can) Canada|
|44||Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|45||Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana|
|46||Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Katusha|
|47||Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|48||Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank|
|49||John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|50||Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|51||Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|52||Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|53||Alexander Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|54||Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram|
|55||Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne|
|56||Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|57||Craig Lewis (USA) Team HTC - Columbia|
|58||Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Astana|
|59||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step|
|60||Tristan Valenttin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|61||Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|62||Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux|
|63||Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Astana|
|64||Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|65||David Le Lay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|66||Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team|
|67||Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank|
|68||Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Footon-Servetto|
|69||Guillaume Boivin (Can) Canada|
|70||Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|71||Anthony Charteau (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|72||Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|73||Will Routley (Can) Canada||0:00:39|
|74||Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux|
|75||Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team||0:00:49|
|76||Fabio Felline (Ita) Footon-Servetto||0:01:01|
|77||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|78||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|79||Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank||0:01:05|
|80||Serge Pauwels (Bel) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:01:17|
|81||Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||0:01:31|
|82||José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||0:01:58|
|83||Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||0:02:07|
|84||Charles Wegelius (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:02:09|
|85||Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||0:02:33|
|86||Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack||0:02:46|
|87||Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step|
|88||Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana|
|89||Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||0:02:48|
|90||Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack||0:03:40|
|91||Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|92||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|93||Dario Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:04:26|
|94||Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||0:06:31|
|95||Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:08:26|
|96||André Steensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|97||Marcus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto|
|98||Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram|
|99||Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|100||Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:10:43|
|101||Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram|
|102||Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|103||Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|104||Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale|
|105||Laurent Didier (Lux) Team Saxo Bank|
|106||Bruno Langlois (Can) Canada|
|107||Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team Milram|
|108||Marco Bandiera (Ita) Team Katusha|
|109||Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|110||Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step||0:12:19|
|DNF||Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Timmy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank|
|DNF||Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank|
|DNF||Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank|
|DNF||Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack|
|DNF||Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Radioshack|
|DNF||Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack|
|DNF||Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step|
|DNF||Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step|
|DNF||Kurt Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|DNF||Christopher Froome (GBr) 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||Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank|
|DNF||Khalilov Mikhaylo (Ukr) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|DNF||David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|DNF||Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|DNF||Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|DNF||Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne|
|DNF||Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram|
|DNF||Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana|
|DNF||Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Astana|
|DNF||Roman Kireyev (Kaz) 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||Vidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Footon-Servetto|
|DNF||Marco Corti (Ita) Footon-Servetto|
|DNF||Noé Gianetti (Swi) Footon-Servetto|
|DNF||David Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Footon-Servetto|
|DNF||Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|DNF||Yohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|DNF||Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|DNF||Chad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||François Parisien (Can) Canada|
|DNS||Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo|