Voeckler claims inaugural GP Québec

Perfectly timed move puts French champion on the top step

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.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom4:35:27 
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:00:01 
3Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank  
4Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions  
5Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
6Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
7Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram  
8Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
9Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step  
10Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
11Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team Radioshack  
12Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
13Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
14Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
15Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
16David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Astana0:00:09 
17Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack  
18Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
19Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo  
20Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Transitions  
21Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions0:00:14 
22Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha  
23Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank0:00:18 
24Keven Lacombe (Can) Canada0:00:20 
25Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:00:23 
26Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions0:00:29 
27Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram  
28Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha  
29Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
30Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step  
31David Veilleux (Can) Canada  
32Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia  
33Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
34Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
35Evgueny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha  
36Charles Dionne (Can) Canada  
37Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux  
38Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack  
39Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Footon-Servetto  
40Julien Elfares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
41José Joaquim Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
42Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step  
43Dominique Rollin (Can) Canada  
44Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
45Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana  
46Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Katusha  
47Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
48Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank  
49John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
50Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha  
51Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
52Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team  
53Alexander Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha  
54Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram  
55Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne  
56Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
57Craig Lewis (USA) Team HTC - Columbia  
58Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Astana  
59Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step  
60Tristan Valenttin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
61Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
62Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
63Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Astana  
64Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
65David Le Lay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
66Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team  
67Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank  
68Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Footon-Servetto  
69Guillaume Boivin (Can) Canada  
70Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
71Anthony Charteau (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
72Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
73Will Routley (Can) Canada0:00:39 
74Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
75Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:49 
76Fabio Felline (Ita) Footon-Servetto0:01:01 
77Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
78Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
79Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank0:01:05 
80Serge Pauwels (Bel) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:01:17 
81Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:01:31 
82José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:01:58 
83Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini0:02:07 
84Charles Wegelius (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:02:09 
85Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:02:33 
86Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack0:02:46 
87Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step  
88Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana  
89Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:02:48 
90Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack0:03:40 
91Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
92Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
93Dario Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:04:26 
94Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom0:06:31 
95Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:08:26 
96André Steensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
97Marcus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto  
98Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram  
99Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
100Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:10:43 
101Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram  
102Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
103Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
104Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale  
105Laurent Didier (Lux) Team Saxo Bank  
106Bruno Langlois (Can) Canada  
107Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team Milram  
108Marco Bandiera (Ita) Team Katusha  
109Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
110Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step0:12:19 
DNFSteven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFTimmy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFMartijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFDanny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFJavier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFMiguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFJoost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank  
DNFDennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank  
DNFJanez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack  
DNFSergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Radioshack  
DNFYaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack  
DNFIvan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFBrian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFElia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFMauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step  
DNFJurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step  
DNFKurt Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFChristopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFDavide Vigano (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFAnthony Roux (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
DNFJussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux  
DNFJens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFKhalilov Mikhaylo (Ukr) Team Katusha  
DNFJulien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMaxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFCyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFYuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAlfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFDavid Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFSimone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFPatrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFFrantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFMichael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFMathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFLuke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram  
DNFPaolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana  
DNFYevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Astana  
DNFRoman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana  
DNFMatthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFChristophe Brandt (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFFrancis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFMichiel Elijzen (Ned) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFDaniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFVidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Footon-Servetto  
DNFMarco Corti (Ita) Footon-Servetto  
DNFNoé Gianetti (Swi) Footon-Servetto  
DNFDavid Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Footon-Servetto  
DNFPierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
DNFSébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom  
DNFChad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFGeorge Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFJeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFRémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFJulien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFFrançois Parisien (Can) Canada  
DNSKristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo  

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