Michael Matthews (Sunweb) was the one of the favourites to win the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and he lived up to everyone's expectations taking the bunch-sprint victory on the Grande Allée. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) finished second for a fourth time, while Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) was third.
"It's been a rocky start to my year and I'm just really happy that I've been able to turn it around in a positive way for the second half of the season," said Matthews, who dedicated the victory to his wife and daughter.
"I could have sat up and said 'I'll give this season a miss and move on to next year' but the team kept a lot of positivity in me and kept me motivated to the second half of the season. My wife and I sacrificed and put a lot into making sure that I was good enough to perform. It was really great to get this win today."
Mitchelton-Scott pulled back late-attacker Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe) inside the final 400 metres, ensuring a bunch sprint. Van Avermaet started his sprint early but Matthews, who was second in 2015 and and third last year, showed his experience on the uphill drag, waiting patiently for the right moment to make his winning move.
How it unfolded
Organisers of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec once again offered a challenging parcours routed in and around the walls of the 400-year-old Quebec City.
In its ninth edition, and with no course changes to the previous years, the peloton once again contested a 16 laps of a 12.6km circuit that included climbs over Rue de la Montagne, Cote de la Potasse, and the less decisive Montée de la Fabrique, before looping back around to the uphill drag to the finish line on the Grande Allée.
A breakaway set off in the opening lap of the race with three representatives from Canada; Rob Britton (Rally), and Bruno Langlois and Alex Cataford (both Team Canada). The breakaway also included Guy Sagiv (Isreal Cycling Academy) and Nicolas Dougall (Dimension Data).
The quintet quickly pushed their gap out to three minutes as they rounded the first lap, and then to six minutes before the 50-kilometre mark.
BMC did the lion's share of the pace-setting to stop the breakaway from gaining any additional time, which would keep Van Avermaet in contention for the day's win.
Three separate crashes happened on course with BMC's Nathan Van Hooydonck doing down on the descent off of the Cote Gilmore 35 kilometres into the race. He was able to get back on his bike and resume his efforts at the front of the field. Movistar's Nuno Bico wasn't as fortunate after a dog ran into the peloton causing him to hit the ground and abandon the race.
A larger crash took down four riders: Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy), Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First-Drapac), Lachlan Morton and Tom-Jelte-Slagter (Dimension Data). All were able to resume racing with the exception of Plaza, who abandoned in the final laps.
The gap to the breakaway dropped to under four minutes when Sunweb took to the front of the race to assume the responsibilities with roughly 60km to go (five laps). Their advantage was cut down to one minute, however, with three laps to go as Michael Valgren led Astana in a heated chase to bring back the five men and reset the race in the closing laps.
The breakaway fell apart over the successful climbs with Langlois and Britton the last to hang on to a small lead. The pair were joined by Kennaugh, who bridge across on the penultimate lap.
Remi Cavagne (Quick-Step Floors) countered that move from the main field, joined by Baptiste Planckaert (Katusha-Alpecin) and Sebastian Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) but their efforts proved fruitless and they were brought back several kilometres later.
Kennaugh pushed hard over the punchy climbs, which proved to be too demanding for breakaway riders Britton and Langlois, and the pair sat up and drifted back into the field after a long day out front.
Robin Carpenter (Rally Cycling) launched himself out of the field over the Montée de la Fabrique, followed by Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale), Jacob Fuglsang (Astana), Nathan Brown (EF-Drapac), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Nathan Earl (Israel Cycling Academy).
BMC Racing pushed the speeds near maximum ahead of the main field, catching the six chase riders with seven kilometres to go, while Kennaugh desperately tried to hang onto his mere 20-second lead.
He pushed over every small rise and sat tucked onto his top-tube on every descent, but only a handful of seconds separated him from the field in the last kilometre. He was eventually caught within 400 metres to go, just as the bunch kick ignited.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb||5:04:17|
|2||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|3||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
|4||Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|5||Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|6||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors|
|7||Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|8||Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin|
|9||Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|10||Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|11||Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|12||Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|13||Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale|
|14||Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale|
|15||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates|
|16||Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates|
|17||Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale|
|18||Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|19||Leonardo Basso (Ita) Team Sky|
|20||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida|
|21||Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy|
|22||Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida|
|23||Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy|
|24||Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling|
|25||Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|26||Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:06|
|27||Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott|
|28||Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:00:07|
|29||François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|30||Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb|
|31||Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale|
|32||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data|
|33||Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|34||Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ|
|35||Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team|
|36||Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida|
|37||Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|38||Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy|
|39||Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team|
|40||Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|41||James Piccoli (Can) CANADA|
|42||Ryan Anderson (Can) Rally Cycling|
|43||Daan Olivier (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|44||Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors|
|45||Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale|
|46||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|47||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott|
|48||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data|
|49||Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:18|
|50||Dennis van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy||0:00:22|
|51||Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky|
|52||Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky|
|53||Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|54||Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky||0:00:32|
|55||Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb||0:00:35|
|56||Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJ|
|57||Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:00:40|
|58||David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:50|
|59||Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|60||Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida|
|61||Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:01:01|
|62||Jaime Castrillo (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:15|
|63||Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|64||Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team||0:01:19|
|65||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|66||Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin|
|67||Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team|
|68||Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|69||Brendan Canty (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale|
|70||Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team|
|71||Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Floors||0:01:26|
|72||Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:01:32|
|73||Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data|
|74||Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates|
|75||John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo||0:01:35|
|76||Bruno Langlois (Can) Canada|
|77||Robin Carpenter (USA) Rally Cycling|
|78||James Knox (GBr) Quick-Step Floors|
|79||Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:01:46|
|80||Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|81||Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin|
|82||Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky||0:01:54|
|83||Pier Andre Cote (Can) Canada||0:02:01|
|84||Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin||0:02:17|
|85||Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Movistar Team||0:02:46|
|86||Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates||0:03:00|
|87||Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|88||Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo|
|89||Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|90||Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:03:03|
|91||Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo|
|92||Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:03:08|
|93||Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal|
|94||Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors||0:03:11|
|95||Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|96||Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:03:13|
|97||Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data||0:03:16|
|98||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida||0:03:30|
|99||Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky|
|100||Robert Britton (Can) Rally Cycling||0:03:37|
|101||Adam Roberge (Can) Canada|
|102||David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky||0:04:02|
|103||Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team|
|104||Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin|
|105||Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|106||Nathan Earle (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy||0:05:08|
|107||Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data|
|108||Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data|
|109||Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|110||Logan Owen (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale|
|111||William Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale|
|112||Nigel Ellsay (Can) Rally Cycling|
|113||Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors||0:05:37|
|114||Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale||0:06:20|
|115||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida||0:06:46|
|116||Davide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step Floors|
|117||Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb||0:09:32|
|118||Alexander Cataford (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling|
|119||Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy|
|120||Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|121||Adam De Vos (Can) Rally Cycling|
|122||Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling|
|123||Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team||0:09:35|
|DNF||Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Marco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin|
|DNF||Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|DNF||Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|DNF||Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott|
|DNF||Nuno Bico (Por) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|DNS||Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Robert Wagner (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo|
|DNF||Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida|
|DNF||Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|DNF||Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|DNF||Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNS||Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale|
|DNF||William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|DNF||Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin|
|DNF||Nicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy|
|DNF||Edward Walsh (Can) Canada|
|DNF||Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) Canada|
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