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Live coverage

Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec 2014

Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec.

Bonjour and hello from Quebec, where the race is about to pass through the finish area after the two opening laps of the race.

The riders cover 11 laps of the 18.1km circuit around the city for a total race distance of 199.1km.

The sun is shining on the race and ideal for a great race.

The first lap saw lots of attacks as riders fought to get in the early break of the race. Four riders eventually made it into the move and the peloton let them go after a brief chase. The four have a gap of 8:00, with the peloton letting them go.

The four are Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Dennis Van Winden Belkin), Moreno Moser (Cannondale) and Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar).

Behind the peloton has begin to fight back, with Orica-GreenEdge initialing a chase. The Australian team has placed two riders on the front and other teams have joined in the chase.

With the peloton awakening, the gap has fallen to 8:40. However the break is working smoothly together.

The riders are heading to the old city centre of Quebec, while the peloton rolls along on the riverbank. BMC has also sent a rider to the front to help with the chase.

154km remaining from 199km

The riders are close passing through the finish to complete the third lap of the race.

It's a busy day of racing, with riders also in action at the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour of Britain.

Check out our early reports and photo galleries from the Tour of Britain here.

It was another day of thrilling racing at the Vuelta a Espana. Read the stage report here.

Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) is doing the hard work on the front of the peloton.

We spoke briefly to Ted King this morning before the start of the race.

"We have three really strong guys here, two are named Davide (Villella and Formolo)," he said. 

"It's a different race without Peter [Sagan] here. It's more wide open - the other teams won't be looking to us to pull it back. We can put a guy in the breakaway, float it a bit, or wait for the finish."

145km remaining from 199km

The peloton has passed through the finish on the Grand Allee road and descended back to the riverside. The gap is 7:55 to the break.

Cyclingnews had exclusive images of the Trek bike that Jens Voigt will use in his attempt to break the Hour Record on September 18 earlier today.

Check out the aero profile of the frame, the fixed gear and the special clock-design aero wheels here.

 

Race radio says the gap has fallen to 5:55 as the peloton ups the chase of the four breakaways.

We have to say that Quebec is stunning from the Cyclingnews blimp. It's a perfect fall day.

The breakaway riders are on the steep Cote de la Montagne up to the old city. It is only 375m long but has a 10% gradient with a sector at 13%.

The Cannondale team is riding shotgun near the head of the peloton. They seem to be trying to control the chase, to help the break, including Moreno Moser, stay away as long as possible.

127km remaining from 199km

The peloton passes under the archway in the old city walls and completes the fourth lap. The gap is down to 7:25.

The gradual climb to the finish lines out the peloton and will surely cause more more damage in the final laps.

127km remaining from 199km

The gap is at 7:10 after 72km of racing.

Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) is doing an impresisve job leading the peloton. Cyclingnews spoke to him before the start of the race.

“I’ve raced on this course so many times both as a WorldTour event and for so many years as a part of the Tour de Beauce. I think our team can have a good race today and I’ll be working for Simon [Gerrans]. It’s been a long season and I’ve just come here from the Tour of Alberta. It’s nice to race on home soil for a little bit and I’ll be headed back over to Europe after this,” he said.

Pete Stetina (BMC) is also doing long turns on the front with Meier.

We are close to half distance now, with the gap at 6:00.

The riders in the peloton are taking on bottles from the pits just before the finish area.

After five laps of the 18.1km circuit, the gap is 5:40. The peloton manages to reduce the gap on the climb but the four extend their lead on the descent and flat roads along the river.

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) is confident about going for victory today.

“I feel good about being able to win it today. It’s a tough course but I know it well and I’ve won here before,” he told Cyclingnews before the start.

98km remaining from 199km

The gaps is slowly melting under the chase ans is down to 5:30

Crash! A race motorbike has gone down. Hopefully everyone is okay.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has dropped back to his team car for a chat with DS Servais Knaven. He and Edvald Boasson Hagen will probably be team leaders for Team Sky.

World champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) is also in the cars and being lead back up by several teammates. 

99km remaining from 199km

The riders have covered 100km of the 199km race. The speed will only get faster and faster from now on.

The four breakaway riders are still combining their forces smoothly as the cover as many laps out front as they can. They are getting huge cheers of appreciation from the crowds.

Arashiro has taken the points on the King of the Mountains in Rue St-Jean but van Winden remains the leader of the KOM competition after winning several sprints to the line.

While the peloton heads through the feeding zone for a little lunch, Stephen Farrand is going to take a break to have his own. Laura Weislo here for the next few minutes.

If you haven't seen the results and report from today's Vuelta stage, you can find it here. Chapeau to Adam Hansen for a hard fought win, what a great way to cap off his 10th consecutive Grand Tour!

83km remaining from 199km

Back to Quebec, the breakaway is speeding along back down toward the river's edge, sweeping around a wide bend where the view is simply lovely. The weather has cooperated nicely for the race.

We're hearing that Neri Sottoli's Matteo Rabottini has tested positive, although this is not yet confirmed by the UCI's provisional suspension list.

Scrap that, the updated list shows Rabottini was positive for EPO on August 7, 2014.

The peloton is really eating into the gap of our four escapees in Quebec, the lead is now down to just 3:45 with 79.5km remaining in the race.

Tour of Britain: Kwiatkowski loses yellow after miscalculation: http://t.co/DUqSCWW7Y1

@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 12th Sep 2014 18:52:02

Despite the plummeting gap, the mood in the peloton is still rather relaxed - at least at the back.

BMC, Orica, Katusha lead in the peloton with single riders, but FDJ and Astana have their entire teams assembled behind this line.

Van Winden, the rider who kicked off this breakaway with his attack from kilometer 0, is sitting back with Moser while Polanc and Arashiro take care of the pulling.

Some recreational riders are testing their legs against the peloton, riding along outside the barricades looking considerably more pained than our professionals at the same speed.

80km remaining from 199km

Van Winden saved just enough energy to go for the KOM, but the gap is way down, just 2:10 now.

As the gap shrinks to a minute or less, we full expect to see an attack from this group. Moser is testing his legs on the Cote de la Potasse, but no surges yet.

Arashiro manages to get past Moser, and hold off Van Winden for the KOM.

Van Winden now leads the competition over Arashiro, 5 points to 2.

That climbed put the hurt into the breakaway, Polanc and Moser were not able to hang onto Arashiro and Van Winden over the climb but they managed to come back in the feed zone.

68km remaining from 199km

With four laps left to race, the leaders' gap is down to two minutes, with Christian Meier and Peter Stetina still taking all of the responsibility for bringing down this gap. Impressive work by these two North Americans.

Jean-Marc Marino (Cannondale) crashed but is back on his bike.

@GPCQM Fri, 12th Sep 2014 19:11:19

Marino's spill was a silly post-feed zone incident, but he seems just fine. He was heading uphill when it happened, so the consequences weren't so severe.

63km remaining from 199km

The four leaders are having a hard time keeping any of their lead, after the long descent it has come down yet again, this time the check is 1:45.

59km remaining from 199km

The leaders head up toward the Cote de la Montagne and their gap is hovering dangerously close to one minute. This time up the hilly section, they have to attack or their time up front will be over, and very quickly.

Heading toward the steep section of the first climb, Arashiro has a dig. He has a gap as the lead is only 30 seconds.

Moser is now dropped as Polanc and Van Winden make it up to the Europcar rider. The peloton is hot on their heels.

The gap is falling so fast, the three leaders will be caught before the internet can even post this comment!

Arashiro is still going for it on the second climb of this lap, Polanc and Van Winden struggle to hold his wheel.

Garmin is now chasing as Arashiro takes the KOM over Polanc. If Van Winden wants that title he needs to get away on the next climb.

The peloton has the three leaders in their sights.

It's all over for the breakaway - Tom Danielson leads the bunch past Polanc, Arashiro and Van Winden.

Don't forget that Jens Voigt is doing his hour record attempt on September 18. We got the scoop on his time trial machine, replete with watch-face disc wheels here.

52km remaining from 199km

The peloton is all back together with three laps to go - well, at least the front half. There's a second group with a few Astana and Katusha riders hanging on that is just 10m behind.

Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar) attacks, he's being chased by a few riders with a slight gap.

Quemeneur has opened up a gap of eight seconds on the Omega Pharma-Quickstep led peloton.

48km remaining from 199km

Quemeneur is no match for the fast-moving peloton, which makes it look effortless to chase down a hard-riding attacker.

That attack did not last very long. The peloton is intact once more as BMC leads the way.

Apparently 150km of chasing wasn't enough for Stetina and Meier, and they are still leading the way.

Astana has taken pity on the pair, and now come forward to help with pacemaking for a brief moment. Jakob Fuglsang is their man for the finish today.

As Europcar now takes over, the pace is starting to cause some trouble for riders at the back. Before, that part of the peloton was full of smiles and conversation. Now, not so much.

Heading toward the climb, Eros Capecchi (Movistar) and Arnold Jeanneson (FDJ) are fighting to hold onto the rear of the bunch.

44km remaining from 199km

The bunch is heading up the Cote de la MOntagne and FDJ is pushing the pace, stringing out the bunch. Now Tony Hurel and Geraint Thomas are in trouble at the back.

Thomas shows his class by diving around the dropped Europcar rider to tack back onto the tail of the bunch, in a move we like to call "tail-gunning"

If done correctly, tail-gunning can save energy, but if done poorly jumping past dropped riders can be exhausting. It's all in the timing.

38km remaining from 199km

We're seeing some serious attacks on the front.

Valerio Agnoli (Astana) was the first rider to kick it off in the old city.

As the riders approach the finish, a few are trying to open a gap.

There are just two laps to go and the speed is rising rapidly.

Keiv Reza (Europcar) is keen to drag the break away.

There is a second group chasing the Reza quintet, with the peloton just behind.

The two groups have joined forces and are opening a consistent gap on the peloton. the FDJ.fr team is chasing behind.

The break has 30 seconds on the peloton.

Garmin-Sharp has several riders in the 11-rider attack. Navardauskas and von Hoff are in there.

Brent Bookwalter (BMC) is also in the move.

Michael Woods of the Canadian national team is also in the attack.

Niki Sorensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) is also in the move but these riders are probably the hares that the peloton will have to chase before the decisive attacks on the last lap and climb to the finish.

The 11 riders have a lead of 25 seconds.

Katusha and Lotto Belisol are now leading the chase for team leaders Alexander Kristoff and Tony Gallopin.  

26km remaining from 199km

Rui Costa and his Lampre-Merida team are also moving up.

The breakaways are working smoothly together, doing equal turns on the front to hold off the peloton.

The race is back in the old city and is about to hit the Cote de la Montagne.

Bike change for Simon Gerrans.

And it was a slow bike change. That will surely end his chances because other riders are attacking off the front.

21km remaining from 199km

Now we have attack from the break and the peloton. The race is exploding.

The 11 are still away but the peloton is closing the gap.

Gerrans is back in the peloton but can he move back up to the front in time to fight for victory.

18km remaining from 199km

The last lap bell rings for the break and for the peloton. The gap is about 20 seconds.

The peloton has split as it tries to chase the breakaway.

A katusha rider takes a tumble on the descent. That could hamper Kristoff's chase. 

Matteo Trentin (OPQS) is also in the break. He is fast in a tough sprint finish like here in Quebec.

Front wheel flat for Danielson (Garmin-Sharp).

Three riders have managed to get across to the attack, making it 4 up front. Team Sky is now leading the chase.

This is going to be a nail-biting finish.

Not everyone is working up front and the gap is only 15 seconds.

11km remaining from 199km

The riders hit the river shore and the final pursuit can begin.

The OPQS team is now chasing the break. They do not believe in Trentin's chances.

Orica-GreenEdge is chasing to set up Gerrans.

The break is going to be caught.

The peloton has them in sight and so riders try to attack from the break. Agnoli has a gone, as does Woods from the Canada team.

Gruppo compatto. The race is all back together just time for the finale.

Lampre-Merida is working to position Costa for the climb in the old city.

5km remaining from 199km

Riders are going blown out the back, including Stybar and Coquard.

Orica is leading the peloton with Gerrans tucked in fourth place.

Attack by a Belkin rider. It has split the peloton.

But the peloton chase it down.

Jelle Vandendert attacks for Lotto Belisol. Van Garderen is also there for BMC.

Flamme rouge. Last km.

Van Garderen goes early and two others go with him.

Under the arch, its going to be a sprint to the line.

Gerrans takes it!

In sight of the line Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) seemed to have enough of a gap to win but Gerrans passed him in the last ten metres.

Navardausksas (Garmin-Sharp) took third even after being in the break in the finale.

It was a lever attack by Dumoulin. He went early and got a gap. Gerrans had to commit to go early but he had the legs to catch him and win. 

In provisional results, DAryl Impy (Orica-GreenEdge) was fouht and Greg van Averameat (BMC) was fifth. 

Gerrans took the 100th victory for the Orica-GreenEdge team and confirmed himself as a big favourite for the world road race championships in Ponferrada. 

Gerrans explained that he knew he had to wait for the final 100m before playing his cards and launching his sprint.

Thanks for joining us for live coverage of the Gran Prix Cycliste de Quebec.

We'll have a full race report, photo gallery and exclusive interviews and news on Cyclingnews very soon.

Join us on Saturday for live coverage from the Vuelta a Espana and on Sunday for live coverage of the Gran Prix Cycliste de Montreal.

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