Matthews wins Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal

Under the watchful gaze of the winged Goddess of Liberty atop the George-Étienne Cartier Monument, Michael Matthews (Sunweb) found wings of his own to claim the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal, and in doing so take his second win of the week after triumphing in Quebec on Friday.

"I started my sprint way too early and I was a little bit worried that I wasn't going to get the win," Matthews said. "It was a super hard day out there and my team did an awesome job to keep all the breakaway together and give me an opportunity to sprint. I only just got these guys on the line and I'm super happy to win."

This time the Australian showcased an even more impressive sprint to surpass a despairing Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) in the closing metres, while Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) finished third. In doing so, Matthews becomes the first rider since Simon Gerrans in 2014 to win both Canadian races in the same season, and just as with Gerrans four years ago, Matthews was as clinical as he was confident. Even though he started the sprint from fifth wheel in Montreal, and Colbrelli looked to have secured the win with a bold sprint from 150 metres out, the Sunweb rider found another gear to win by less than a bike length.

Matthews, who was overlooked for the Australian Worlds team, put in a near-flawless display but he had his team to thank after a number of dangerous moves scurried clear in the final few laps. Pre-race favouites Tim Wellens and Matej Mohoric both marshalled separate late attacks, while Colbrelli had the superior support in the final after Matthews' final supporting cast were burnt off towards the end of the race.

As the leaders turned the final corner with around 500 metres to go Michael Valgren (Astana) hit the front. Matthews was in fifth but kicked for home and moved to the far side of the road. It looked as though he had sprinted too soon, and had to correct his line when Colbrelli opened the throttle. Colbrelli hit the final 75m with the lead but Matthews' second kick was enough to take the win.

There was a poignant moment, too, when Simon Gerrrans - a rider who clashed with Matthews during their time together at Orica - put in a huge turn on the front of the race in the closing stages in a bid to set up Van Avermaet's chances. Gerrans would later peel off from the bunch and effectively end his WorldTour career before Matthews would win his second WorldTour level one-day race of his career. The torch has well and truly been passed from one Australian rider to another.

Familiar feeling

The race itself, with the climbs of Mont Royal, the Cote de Polytechnique and Claude-Champagne, saw an early break of five go clear inside the opening kilometres. Canadians once again dominated the early move, with Britain's Owain Doull (Team Sky) the only non-Canadian in a break made up of  home-grown talent Hugo Houle (Team Astana), Nigel Ellsay (Rally Cycling), Adam Roberge (Canada) and Charles-Etienne Chretien (Canada). The group built up a lead of over five minutes during the opening laps, before Team Sunweb, Lotto Soudal and BMC Racing set about organising a chase.

With blue skies, and perfect race conditions, the speed was relaxed, even when youngster Chretien was dropped from the break with 60km to go.

Bringing it back

Wellens' had his Lotto Soudal squad increase the pace inside the final 40km, while Houle began to struggle at the front. Wellens' move, with 34km to go, opened up the race, with several teams unwilling to carry Matthews and the other sprinters to the finish. The Belgian's attack on Mount Royal was quickly snuffed out before Mohoric went clear with far more purpose on the descent. The Bahrain Merida rider arrived in Canada full of confidence after back-to-back stage race wins in Europe, and he looked supreme - even when his compatriot, and the last man standing from the race's break in 2014, Jan Polanc, joined him with 29km to go. A second counter attack allowed Gregor Mühlberger to make contact with the two Slovenians, and the trio quickly overhauled the day's early break as Sunweb gave chase.

Gerrans' final act in a WorldTour race saw him draw the leaders back to 26 seconds as the race hit the final two laps before the Australian swung off and bowed out. He will apparently race the Japan Cup later in the year but this was an emphatically understated way for a rider of his calibre to exit the sport as he wheeled away, unwilling to take questions from the press.

Sam Oomen, a rider more accustomed to leading Tom Dumoulin up mountain passes, assumed control of the bunch with less than two laps remaining as Mohoric and his two breakaway companions held a 15-second lead.

The time is now

On the final ascent of Mount Royal the Sunweb team, with the help of Lotto, regained control but the parcours of this race always provides an opportunity to attack just after one move is nullified. This time James Knox, Jakob Fuglsang, and Wellens slipped clear with just under 10km to go.

Mohoric was now asked to defend rather than attack, and the Slovenian ushered his Bahrain Merida squad to the front in a bid to set up Colbrelli. On the penultimate climb the trio were reeled in, with Mohoric himself leading the bunch into the final stretch.

Then, with the sun starting to set on a crisp Canadian afternoon, Michael Matthews burst from the pack to claim his win. There may not be a Worlds selection for the Canberra kid this year but with the sun setting on Gerran's career - and most likely Mat Hayman - Matthews has now become Australia's most successful one-day rider in the peloton. What's more, he's done it in just the space of a few days.  


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb5:19:27
2Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 1 - Cell 2
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 3 - Cell 2
5Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNl-JumboRow 4 - Cell 2
6Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 5 - Cell 2
7Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 6 - Cell 2
8Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 8 - Cell 2
10Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 9 - Cell 2
11Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 10 - Cell 2
12Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 11 - Cell 2
13Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-SegafredoRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 13 - Cell 2
15Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 14 - Cell 2
16Brandon Mcnulty (USA) Rally CyclingRow 15 - Cell 2
17David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 16 - Cell 2
18Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 17 - Cell 2
19Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Cycling AcademyRow 18 - Cell 2
20Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-ScottRow 19 - Cell 2
21Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 20 - Cell 2
22Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Bora-HansgroheRow 21 - Cell 2
23James Knox (GBr) Quick-Step FloorsRow 22 - Cell 2
24Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 24 - Cell 2
26Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team SkyRow 27 - Cell 2
29Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 28 - Cell 2
30Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:07
32Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 31 - Cell 2
33Nathan Earle (Aus) Israel-Cycling AcademyRow 32 - Cell 2
34David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team SkyRow 33 - Cell 2
35Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 34 - Cell 2
36Ben O'connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 35 - Cell 2
37Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 36 - Cell 2
38Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:18
41Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:00:26
42Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:27
43Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 42 - Cell 2
44Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:37
45Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team0:01:20
46Simon Špilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:51
47Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data0:01:58
48Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 47 - Cell 2
49Alexander Cataford (Can) CanadaRow 48 - Cell 2
50Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel-Cycling AcademyRow 50 - Cell 2
52Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 51 - Cell 2
53Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 55 - Cell 2
57Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 56 - Cell 2
58James Piccoli (Can) CanadaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Ryan Anderson (Can) Rally CyclingRow 58 - Cell 2
60Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 59 - Cell 2
61Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNl-JumboRow 60 - Cell 2
62Robin Carpenter (USA) Rally CyclingRow 61 - Cell 2
63Robert Britton (Can) Rally CyclingRow 62 - Cell 2
64Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 63 - Cell 2
65Leonardo Basso (Ita) Team SkyRow 64 - Cell 2
66Michal Golas (Pol) Team SkyRow 65 - Cell 2
67Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 66 - Cell 2
68Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 67 - Cell 2
69Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team SkyRow 68 - Cell 2
70Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-SegafredoRow 70 - Cell 2
72François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:12
73G Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:02:15
74Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:02:21
75Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:50
76Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:02:56
77Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:00
78Brendan Canty (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:03:02
79Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:04
80Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:03:08
81Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin0:03:12
82Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb0:03:49
83Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling0:04:32
84Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data0:05:04
85Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:05:06
86Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
87Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 86 - Cell 2
88Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 87 - Cell 2
89Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:06:57
90Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 89 - Cell 2
91Daan Olivier (Ned) LottoNl-JumboRow 90 - Cell 2
92Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:09:40
93Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 93 - Cell 2
95Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel-Cycling AcademyRow 94 - Cell 2
96Nigel Ellsay (Can) Rally CyclingRow 95 - Cell 2
97Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 96 - Cell 2
98Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates0:10:53
99Adam Roberge (Can) Canada0:11:31
100Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) CanadaRow 99 - Cell 2
101Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky0:12:46
102Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team0:13:40
DNFNathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFSam Bennett (Irl) Bora-HansgroheRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFMagnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFAmund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNl-JumboRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFGijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNl-JumboRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFRobert Thomas Wagner (Ger) LottoNl-JumboRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFHeinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFSøren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team SunwebRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFRoy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFChad Haga (USA) Team SunwebRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team SunwebRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFKoen De Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFNikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFRemy Mertz (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFHarm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFSep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFJoseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFLogan Owen (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFMaxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFNicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension DataRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFBernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension DataRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFLachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension DataRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFDennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel-Cycling AcademyRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFGuy Niv (Isr) Israel-Cycling AcademyRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFGuy Sagiv (Isr) Israel-Cycling AcademyRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFAdam De Vos (Can) Rally CyclingRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFPier Andre Cote (Can) CanadaRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFCharles-Etienne Chretien (Can) CanadaRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFEdward Walsh (Can) CanadaRow 142 - Cell 2


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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.

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