Belgian National Champion Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) took a nail-biting victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. He entered the race as the favourite to win and did not disappoint, nabbing the victory by a hair ahead of Dutchman Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Rigoberto Uran (Sky Pro Cycling).
"It was a very difficult race today," Gilbert said. "Sky imposed a very strong tempo from the start and there were stages when we were going 60kph and everyone was tired. Six laps from the finish, Rabobank took over and everyone was tired. There were 10 riders together at the end and I was the strongest man.
"I tried to go on my own but I couldn't," he said. "I waited for the attack on the last climb and it was not easy because Gesink was behind me doing well. When a rider is chasing you on a climb at the finish he sees you like a target, so it is easier for a guy like that. After 700 metres I went, relaxed a little bit, and made another go, where I could relax with and enjoy my victory."
Gilbert made his initial move on the penultimate climb up the Cote de la Montagne. He was followed by rival Gesink along with Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Rigoberto Uran (Sky Pro Cycling), Fabian Wegmann (Leopard Trek), Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale), Simon Clarke (Astana), Gerald Ciolek (Quick Step) and Bjorn Leukemnas and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM).
Gilbert continued to force his own pace and ended up riding solo through the start-finish line with one lap to go and down the descent through the Parc des Champs-De-Bataille. However, the chase group of strong one-day contenders brought him back along the Boulevard Champlain before the finale climb.
"I decided to go because I wanted to make the race tougher," Gilbert said. "I believed a few riders would follow but I found myself alone. I think it was necessary because in the end we had a strong group and everyone was motivated and it was a good move."
Leipheimer set the pace on the last climb, countered by a strong attack from Gesink. Uran showed his good form when he quickly caught on to Gesink's wheel on the climb, followed by Gilbert. The small lead group reunited at the top of the climb through the technical short circuit with three kilometres to go.
Gilbert forced another strong attack with two kilometres to go. Gesink followed roughly 5 seconds back desperately trying to bring back the Belgian before the finish line. Gesink closed the gap down to roughly a bike length with several metres to the finish line. However, he could not pass Gilbert who won the race and satisfied his season's goals by moving into the lead of the UCI wold ranking, surpassing Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).
"I think I was stronger than last year, today," said Gesink who place third at the event in 2010 and won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal. "In the end when I crossed the finish line I wasn't really happy. I was really close. It was a nice race in the beginning, a little too slow if you ask me, with only three breakaway riders. But, we started an early final and the race was on. It was a great final and for the people who saw it on television the finish looked easy, but I can tell you that it was not."
Salerno, Hurel and Herrada breakaway caught in the final third
A top-class peloton that included 18 WorldTour teams and four wild card Professional Continental teams lined up to start the Grande Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. The 201.6km event will begin in the downtown core on Saint-Louis, held on 16 laps of a 12.6km circuit.
The peloton descended through the picturesque Park Des Champs-De-Bataille, raced along the Boulevard Champlain beside the Saint Lawrence River before starting the steep ascent up the Cote de la Montagne. It was a technical circuit through narrow and undulating streets of the old city before returning back onto Saint Louis for a shallow grade uphill to the finish line.
The previous day's sprint winner Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) and Will Routely (SpiderTech p/b C10) were the first two riders to stretch their legs off of the start line. The pair made their move on the tricky descent through the Parc des Champs-De-Bataille, only a few kilometres into the race.
Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-ISD) was the next rider to make his move along the Boulevard Champlain created a small gap ahead of the peloton on the climb up the Cote de Montagne. Several riders attempted to bridge across resulting in the demise of Balloni's solo breakaway and the peloton reunited before the start of the second lap.
The next blow to the field involved a breakaway with Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and Cristiano Salerno (Liquigas-Cannondale). The pair were quickly joined by Tony Hurel (Europcar) along the Boulevard Champlain on the second lap.
The trio worked together during the following three laps in order to gain a maximum of 4:25 minutes ahead of the peloton. Herrada picked up full points on each KOM ascent on the Cote de la Montagne. Although points were offered on each ascent, they increased as the race progressed, with the bulk of the points awarded during the final three laps. However, Herrada sewed up the KOM competition during the lengthy breakaway.
Sky Pro Cycling, including Canadian Michael Barry, set a strong tempo at the front of the field for its teammates Simon Gerrans and Tour de France stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen, who placed second to Thomas Voeckler last year. Barry earned the event's Best Canadian Rider award after placing 14th on the day.
"We started the race today with three protected riders Rigoberto Uran, Simon Gerrans and Edvald," Barry said. "The course suited all of them, so we started the stage knowing that it would be our responsibility to control the race. We started riding on the front right away, once the gap got up to seven minutes."
Salerno, Hurel and Herrado's efforts came to an end with four laps to go when Sky Pro Cycling successfully reeled them back in, resetting the bike race for the closing kilometres. Garmin-Cervelo moved its riders to the front of the field to take over the pace making for its Canadian talent Ryder Hesjedal.
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo) put forth a strong dig following the Cote de la Montagne. He was joined by eight additional riders Lars Nordhaug (Sky Pro Cycling), Tom Stamsnijder (Leopard Trek), Jan Ghyselinck (HTC-Highroad), Phil Deignan (RadioShack), Maciej Paterski (Liquigas-Cannondale), Alberto Faria and Luis Pasamontes (Movistar) and Matteo Trentin (Quick Step).
The Cote de la Montagne started to take its toll on the peloton as several riders were spotted swerving back and forth just to get up it. Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was forced to pull off to the side with a leg cramp. Another notable rider who fell off pace in the closing laps was Boasson Hagen.
Trentin made a second move following a strong attach on the decisive climb, joined again by Faria, and the rest were reeled back into the field. Barry did the lion's share of the work to bring back the two breakaway riders for his Sky Pro Cycling teammates.
His fellow countryman Svein Tuft (SpiderTech p/b C10) was the next to make a move on the descent through the Parc des Champs-De-Bataille. He was followed by Trentin, Faria and Javier Iriarte (Movistar), Jason McCartney (RadioShack), Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad) and Gorazd Stangelj (Astana) with two laps to go.
"The final was much harder than it was last year," Barry said. "The race was much more selective because Rabobank opened it up with five laps to go and started attacking hard. In the end Rigoberto ended up in a breakaway of 10 riders and behind there were three of us covering attacks to make sure no one else went across, and that was his chance to have a go at the victory. We are happy with third place, the team rode really well and we will try to do the same again on Sunday."
The peloton will reunited on the start line on Sunday at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||5:03:08|
|2||Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team|
|3||Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling||0:00:09|
|4||Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Leopard Trek||0:00:14|
|5||Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack||0:00:15|
|6||Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team||0:00:23|
|7||Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|8||Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team||0:00:25|
|9||Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team||0:00:30|
|10||Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team Astana||0:00:47|
|11||Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Por) Movistar Team||0:01:17|
|12||Grégory Rast (Swi) Team RadioShack||0:01:19|
|13||Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team||0:01:21|
|14||Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling||0:01:23|
|15||Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|16||Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:01:26|
|17||Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|18||Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team|
|19||Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling|
|20||Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ|
|21||Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team|
|22||David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar|
|23||Anders Lund (Den) Leopard Trek|
|24||Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|25||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar|
|26||Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|27||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo||0:01:39|
|28||Rubén Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:42|
|29||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team|
|30||Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ||0:01:57|
|31||Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ||0:02:10|
|32||Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling||0:02:18|
|33||Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard|
|34||Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard|
|35||Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team|
|36||Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShack|
|37||Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha Team|
|38||Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar|
|39||Svein Tuft (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|40||Ryan Roth (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|41||Bruno Pires (Por) Leopard Trek|
|42||Francesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team|
|43||Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team|
|44||Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank Sungard||0:02:28|
|45||Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale|
|46||Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team||0:03:12|
|47||Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|48||Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ|
|49||Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Pro Team Astana|
|50||Hayden Roulston (NZl) HTC-Highroad||0:03:24|
|51||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ||0:04:04|
|52||Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|53||David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team||0:04:25|
|54||Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team||0:04:37|
|55||Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team|
|56||Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo||0:04:43|
|57||Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD||0:05:12|
|58||Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team||0:05:40|
|59||Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|60||Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana|
|61||Sergey Renev (Kaz) Pro Team Astana|
|62||Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|63||Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|64||Edward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|65||Julien Vermote (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team|
|66||George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|67||Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ|
|68||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling|
|69||Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ|
|70||Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|71||Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar|
|72||Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad|
|73||Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|74||Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|75||Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:09:28|
|76||Jesús Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team||0:12:23|
|DNF||Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|DNF||Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|DNF||Óscar Pujol Muñoz (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|DNF||Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|DNF||Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|DNF||Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling|
|DNF||Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling|
|DNF||Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling|
|DNF||Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team|
|DNF||Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team|
|DNF||Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team|
|DNF||Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team|
|DNF||Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo|
|DNF||Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo|
|DNF||Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo|
|DNF||Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo|
|DNF||Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo|
|DNF||David Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo|
|DNF||Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|DNF||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|DNF||Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|DNF||Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|DNF||Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|DNF||Iván Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi|
|DNF||Stefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard Trek|
|DNF||Brice Feillu (Fra) Leopard Trek|
|DNF||Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek|
|DNF||Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek|
|DNF||Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Thimothy Roe (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad|
|DNF||Caleb Fairly (USA) HTC-Highroad|
|DNF||Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad|
|DNF||Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad|
|DNF||Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad|
|DNF||Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad|
|DNF||Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|DNF||Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD|
|DNF||Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|DNF||David Loosli (Swi) Lampre - ISD|
|DNF||Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|DNF||Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|DNF||Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - ISD|
|DNF||Laurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank Sungard|
|DNF||Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard|
|DNF||Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard|
|DNF||André Steensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard|
|DNF||Brian Vandborg (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard|
|DNF||Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack|
|DNF||Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack|
|DNF||Robert Hunter (RSA) Team RadioShack|
|DNF||Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack|
|DNF||Jason McCartney (USA) Team RadioShack|
|DNF||Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|DNF||Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|DNF||Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|DNF||Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|DNF||Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team|
|DNF||Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team|
|DNF||Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team|
|DNF||Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team|
|DNF||Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team|
|DNF||Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team|
|DNF||Allan Davis (Aus) Pro Team Astana|
|DNF||Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana|
|DNF||Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Pro Team Astana|
|DNF||Javier Iriarte (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Addy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team|
|DNF||Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team|
|DNF||Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|DNF||Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|DNF||Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ|
|DNF||Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|DNF||Francois Parisien (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|DNF||Ryan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|DNF||Zachary Bell (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|DNF||Martin Gilbert (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|DNF||Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|DNF||Will Routley (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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