Robert Gesink (Rabobank) captured his first one-day ProTour event victory in solo fashion at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal on Sunday. The Dutchman attacked on the last of 16 laps and held off a chase group by just four seconds to take the win ahead of Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions).
"I'm really excited to win this race," said Gesink. "I saw the course for the first time yesterday and I thought it was a really good one for me. I am really happy and this is a really big victory for me.
"I didn't think I was going to be able to hold it because I was suffering, especially at the end when the group almost caught me," he added. "The whole last lap I doubted whether or not I could finish. There was no use in thinking about that but it was really painful seeing the guys coming behind. I just had enough at the end."
Gesink attacked the some 40 riders left in the peloton the last time over the circuit's decisive Ch. Camilien-Houde ascent to the top of Mont Royal. He orbited the final nine kilometres with a slim eight-second lead ahead of a six-man chase that included Sagan and Hesjedal, plus Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing), Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack) and Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia).
A tactical battle amongst the riders in the chase group lead to a disorganised effort and they were unable to close the four-second gap to Gesink. Boasson Hagen crashed through the U-turn with 500 metres to the finish line, making Sagan the odds-on favourite to take second place.
"Robert was already too far ahead when it was time to sprint," said Sagan. "There were four or five in my group but I think it was pretty obvious that Robert had already won the race."
Hesjedal was pleased with a podium result, having placed fourth in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City two days prior. He exited the final U-turn first and held on for second place in the sprint.
"This weekend has been more than good and a real learning experience for me," the Canadian explained. "To have the honour of wearing the number one bib here, what can I say? I rode as best as I could. My team was amazing and helped to control the race. They left it all out there for me."
"Congrats to Peter [Sagan]," he added. "I didn't have the pleasure of seeing his breakout rides in Paris-Nice but he is a great rider and he showed that today so I can't be upset with a third place here, it was amazing. In the big picture it was life changing to come and race here after the season that I had."
World-class racing returns to Mont Royal
Some 170 ProTour riders lined up on the Avenue du Parc, at the base of a climb to the top of Mont Royal in excess of three kilometres. The same course was used in the 1974 World Championships won by Eddy Merckx, the 1976 Olympic road race and the site of many men's and women's World Cup events over the last two decades. The circuit was 12.6km and the men contested 16 laps for a total of 193.6km.
A highly animated first lap resulted in a breakaway that included Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Caisse d'Epargne), Julien Bernard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-Farnese Vini). The five men were later joined by Kevin Seeldraeyers (Quick Step).
The breakaway was reduced to four riders when it lost two on the third lap. Bernard fell off the pace on the ascent and Balloni crashed into the ditch on the Ch. Remembrance descent. Meanwhile, Adam Hansen (HTC-Columbia) made a valiant effort to bridge across to the breakaway when he attacked over the crest of the climb.
He established a maximum of gap of 50 seconds' gap ahead of the field but remained in no-man's land for nearly three full laps before conceding to the peloton's chase.
The four leaders worked together long enough to establish three minutes of padding over the peloton. Spain's Madrazo Ruiz took the early lead in the King of the Mountain competition but not without a fight from countryman Izagirre, Tjallingii and Seeldraeyers.
Team Sky lead the chase with a tempo fast enough to keep the breakaway at a manageable distance. Chances were good that its sprinter Edvald Boasson Hagen could win the race after he placed second in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. RadioShack was also attentive at the front of the field working for its strongman Haimar Zubeldia.
With five laps to go, RadioShack let loose a series of attacks on the steep section of Mont Royal. Markel Irizar was the first to make a move followed by Chris Horner and Tiago Machado. The pair counter attacked and formed a chase group that also included Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Doimo), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank) and Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini). The chasers successfully bridged across to the lead group of four riders before the start of the next lap.
With four laps to go, Machado, Horner, Sorensen, Oss and Gavazzi opened up a one minute lead as the teams in the bunch like Rabobank, Quick Step, BBox Bouygues Telecom, BMC Racing, Garmin-Transitions and Euskaltel-Euskadi scrambled to get organised.
Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) set a strong tempo heading into the climb that allowed his teammate Ryder Hesjedal to afford an attack. Hesjedal was closely followed by Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank); however, his effort was not strong enough to create a separation in the long line of climbers.
"I wouldn't say that I was conservative today but it was my game plan to stick with the strongest guys," Hesjedal said. "After the main climb there was still a lot of road to go."
Horner, Gavazzi and Sorensen continued on with a mere 14-second lead, joined by bridging riders Cyril Gautier (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Andre Steensen (Saxo Bank) and Wesley Sulzberger (FDJ).
"There was a strong group in front and the team had to work really hard, which they did," explained Gesink. "We had help from Ryder's team too and I ad to wait and wait until it was the right moment to try to make a difference."
Rabobank and Garmin-Transitions, working for their respective riders Gesink and Hesjedal, successfully caught all breakaway riders with one lap to go where Gesink to made his winning attack. "It was obvious I had to wait until the last lap," Gesink said. "I thought it was the best place to gain time on the others, if that was possible, and then to make time to the finish line."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank||4:58:22|
|2||Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo||0:00:04|
|3||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions|
|4||Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team Radioshack|
|5||Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia|
|6||Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||0:00:09|
|7||Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||0:00:14|
|8||Alexander Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|9||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|10||Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|11||Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|12||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|13||Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step|
|14||Thibaut Jpinot (Fra) Française Des Jeux|
|15||Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|16||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step|
|17||Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana|
|18||José Joaquim Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|19||Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|20||David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Astana|
|21||Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|22||Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack|
|23||Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram|
|24||Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack||0:00:18|
|25||Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|26||Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack|
|27||Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|28||Julien Elfares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|29||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step|
|30||Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini||0:00:29|
|31||Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack||0:00:37|
|32||Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram||0:00:41|
|33||Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:00:49|
|34||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:00:55|
|35||Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||0:02:02|
|36||Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|37||Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram|
|38||Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|39||Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|40||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|41||Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Footon-Servetto||0:02:11|
|42||Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||0:02:43|
|43||Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Katusha|
|44||José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|45||Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux|
|46||Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|47||Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank|
|48||George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|49||Evgueny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|50||Marcus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto|
|51||Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step|
|52||Tristan Valenttin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||0:03:32|
|53||Laurent Didier (Lux) Team Saxo Bank|
|54||Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank|
|55||André Steensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|56||Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux||0:04:32|
|57||Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Transitions||0:04:51|
|58||Diego Julissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||0:06:58|
|59||Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions||0:08:46|
|60||Dario Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|61||Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank|
|62||Craig Lewis (USA) Team HTC - Columbia||0:09:02|
|63||Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|64||Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Astana|
|65||Will Routley (Can) Canada|
|66||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|67||Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo|
|68||Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions|
|69||François Parisien (Can) Canada|
|70||Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|71||David Le Lay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|72||Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia|
|73||Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack|
|74||Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|75||Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha|
|76||Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux|
|77||Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|78||Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank|
|79||Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|80||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom||0:09:14|
|81||Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux|
|82||Fabio Jfelline (Ita) Footon-Servetto|
|83||Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team|
|84||Anthony Charteau (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|85||Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|86||Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:11:48|
|87||Dominique Rollin (Can) Canada|
|88||Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne||0:14:32|
|89||Angel Jmadrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|90||Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|91||Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|HD||David Jboily (Can) Canada||0:21:56|
|DNF||Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Timmy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions|
|DNF||Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Miguel Jminguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi|
|DNF||Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank|
|DNF||Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank|
|DNF||Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank|
|DNF||Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Radioshack|
|DNF||Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack|
|DNF||Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Davide Jcimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Elia Jviviani (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNF||Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step|
|DNF||Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step|
|DNF||Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step|
|DNF||Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step|
|DNF||Kurt Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|DNF||Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|DNF||Serge Pauwels (Bel) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|DNF||Morris Possoni (Ita) 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||Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|DNF||Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|DNF||Marco Bandiera (Ita) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Khalilov Mikhaylo (Ukr) Team Katusha|
|DNF||John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Alfredo Jballoni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|DNF||Enrico Jmagazzini (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|DNF||David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini|
|DNF||Gert Jdockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia|
|DNF||Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne|
|DNF||Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram|
|DNF||Dominik Jnerz (Ger) Team Milram|
|DNF||Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram|
|DNF||Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram|
|DNF||Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Astana|
|DNF||Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana|
|DNF||Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana|
|DNF||Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) 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||Charles Wegelius (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|DNF||Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Footon-Servetto|
|DNF||Marco Corti (Ita) Footon-Servetto|
|DNF||Noé Jgianetti (Swi) Footon-Servetto|
|DNF||Yohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|DNF||Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|DNF||Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom|
|DNF||Chad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Guillaume Jboivin (Can) Canada|
|DNF||Keven Lacombe (Can) Canada|
|DNF||Rob Britton (Can) Canada|
|DNF||Ryan Anderson (Can) Canada|
|DNS||Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo|
|DNS||Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana|
|DNS||Vidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Footon-Servetto|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Angel Jmadrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions|
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