French road champion Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom) made a well-timed attack in the final 800 metres to take victory in North America's first-ever ProTour race at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) out-paced a dwindled chase group to take second place ahead of Robert Gesink (Rabobank).
"I was very surprised to win this race because I was expecting to be in the top ten but nothing better," Voeckler said. "I arrived at this race not in the best shape. I was lucky because I was able to take advantage of the breakaway riders who did a lot of work and the teams that worked hard to bring back the break. There were fifteen laps and I had plenty of time to memorize that last climb. I knew exactly where I should attack and that is what I did."
Team Sky did much of the day's work to reduce the time margin to a late-race breakaway that included several threatening riders. Their sprinter, Boasson Hagen, was still in contention for the win and the team received some help from Euskaltel-Euskadi working for the Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez.
"The team did a really good job to control the race all day," Boasson Hagen said. "I was hurting on the last lap but I'm thankful for all the help from them. I couldn't close down the first rider and I was hoping that two or more riders would help, I got second place and I am happy with that. Of course I would like to have won but I am happy with all the work my team did."
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) was the top-placed Canadian rider in fourth and was not disappointed in his performance despite being the odds-on favourite to win. He left it all on the road in a late-race attack on the Cote de la Montagne's steep ascent through Old Quebec City. He bridged across to Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) and Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) with Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Fabian Wagmann (Team Milram) who also joined the threatening breakaway of five riders.
"I was looking to stand on the podium, maybe the top step and I came close," Hesjedal said. "I came here to make the race and make it hard to give myself an opportunity so I'm happy with the result. The crowds were amazing and it was a great day so I'm not disappointed. It was amazing, the fans here were overwhelming and it really lifted me."
"I felt good on the last climb, was in my big chain ring," he added. "It was a big effort and I had the legs to do that. I was committed to the move and was happy to get there with those guys closing in on us. People were looking at me to drive the break and I initiated that attack. Maybe if we had more riders in the move it would have been a lot stronger."
Voeckler was a part of a small chase group that bridged across to the breakaway in the final few kilometres of the race.
"Obviously the show today was for Ryder," Voeckler said. "I'm sorry to say but I am glad to spoil his show. That is cycling. In the Grand Prix de Plouay, I was the star. I realized here that Ryder has become a great star in this country because he was seventh at the Tour de France and it was only natural that he should be the star."
ProTour madness sweeps through Old Quebec City
Riders called to the line included two-time Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini), French national champion Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia), US national champion George Hincapie (BMC Racing), Olympic gold medallist Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions), Jens Voight (Saxo Bank) and Canadian national champion Will Routley (Team Canada). Noticeably absent from the start line was Canadian Michael Barry (Team Sky) who is recovering from a set of broken ribs.
The early breakaway of seven riders included Markel Irizar and Jaroslav Popovych (RadioShack), Daniel Oss (Liquigas Doimo), Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank), Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-Farnese Vini), Dominik Nerz (Team Milram) and Bruno Langlois (Team Canada).
The lead riders wrapped around the Cote Gilmore and traced the St Lawrence River toward the walls of Old Quebec City for the circuit's steep one-kilometre climb. The narrow roads continued to twist and turn before passing in and out of the walled city through the doors to the city, Porte St Jean and Porte St Louis and back to the start finish line.
Roman Kireyev (Astana) was the first rider to go down and was sidelined from the race on the second lap. The Kazakhstan rider's front wheel hit a hole in the road and he was thrown from his bike onto the pavement. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) benefited from a swift bike change from his teammate following a flat tire on the circuit's KOM. Another rider who experienced technical difficulty was former world champion Allessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) who had to dismount his bike twice throughout the race for mechanical support.
The breakaway battle up the Cote de la Montagne
The breakaway reshuffled and the time margin exploded to more than three minutes on the third lap. Original breakaway riders, Balloni, Irizar, Nerz, Popovych were joined by Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank), Francois Parisien (Team Canada), Jurgen van de Walle (Quick Step), Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ), Julien Fouchard (Cofidis), Sebastien Turgot (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Elia Viviani and Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Doimo) Bram Tankink (Rabobank) and Maxim Gourov (Astana).
The king of the mountain ascent was located mid-circuit on the Cote de la Montagne. The short but steep climb wound its way passed one of the historical Canadian-Pacific hotels Le Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec City on each lap. It was also the event hotel and riders were spotted veering off course during the race to call it a day.
Both Popovych and Viviani won the first two ascents. However, as the race progressed, Fuglsang put pressure on the narrow ascent in an effort to gain some points for himself. He was quickly followed by Irizar and the pair gained a small lead ahead of their breakaway companions on the third lap. He collected full points in the KOM and went on to win the following three ascent sprints, gaining a sizable lead as in the KOM competition ahead of Viviani and Popovych.
Fuglsang tallied 24 points with five laps to go and with only 15 available points remaining, he secured his win in the event's Best Climber category ahead of Viviani and Popovych who both fell off the breakaway's pace in the closing laps.
Who will lead the chase?
The breakaway continued to hold a more than four minute lead ahead of a seemingly unconcerned peloton that gingerly road around the circuit until five laps to go. Euskaltel-Euskadi decided to take the reins and put forth a concerted effort to reduce the time gap with help from Team Sky.
Fuglsang continued to put pressure on the ascent each lap and effectively reduced the breakaway down to just seven riders that included Balloni, Irizar, Van De Walle, Nerz, Tankink and Agnoli. Riders that fell off pace included Gourov, Popovych, Turgot, Parisien, Fouchard, Viviani and Veikkanen. Nerz made a move on the ascent with three laps to go and Fuglsang in tow. However, their efforts were short lived and they reunited with their five breakaway companions.
The rest of the peloton continued in pursuit of the breakaway reducing the gap to under two minutes with three laps to go. Euskaltel-Euskadi added more man-power to the chase in good faith that Sanchez could deliver a victory. Team Sky aided in the chase effort, riding for sprinter Edvald Boasson Hagen and the peloton stretched out along the Saint Lawrence River.
The first attack came from Mirko Salvaggi (Astana) following on the Cote de la Montagne with two laps to go. Anthony Charteau (BBox Bouygues Telecom) was the next rider to make a move and he quickly joined Salvaggi off the front.
With two laps to go, the peloton caught the remnants of the breakaway. A crash occurred through the start-finish straightaway that included George Hincapie (BMC Racing) Janez Brakovic (RadioShack) and Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).
Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) jumped out of the field with Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) on the climb. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) made his first appearance of the day when he jumped form the peloton with Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Fabian Wagmann (Team Milram) who formed a new breakaway of five riders.
But the quintet was reeled back in, and as the leaders took a brief respite, Voeckler launched his winning attack and couldn't believe his good luck as he crossed the line.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||4:35:27|
|2||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:00:01|
|3||Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team Radioshack||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des Jeux||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Astana||0:00:09|
|17||Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Transitions||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions||0:00:14|
|22||Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank||0:00:18|
|24||Keven Lacombe (Can) Canada||0:00:20|
|25||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Française Des Jeux||0:00:23|
|26||Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions||0:00:29|
|27||Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||David Veilleux (Can) Canada||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Evgueny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Charles Dionne (Can) Canada||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Footon-Servetto||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Julien Elfares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||José Joaquim Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Dominique Rollin (Can) Canada||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Katusha||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|49||John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|53||Alexander Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Craig Lewis (USA) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Astana||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Tristan Valenttin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|62||Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Astana||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|64||Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||David Le Lay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Footon-Servetto||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||Guillaume Boivin (Can) Canada||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Anthony Charteau (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Will Routley (Can) Canada||0:00:39|
|74||Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team||0:00:49|
|76||Fabio Felline (Ita) Footon-Servetto||0:01:01|
|77||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank||0:01:05|
|80||Serge Pauwels (Bel) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:01:17|
|81||Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||0:01:31|
|82||José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||0:01:58|
|83||Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||0:02:07|
|84||Charles Wegelius (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:02:09|
|85||Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||0:02:33|
|86||Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack||0:02:46|
|87||Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||0:02:48|
|90||Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack||0:03:40|
|91||Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Dario Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:04:26|
|94||Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||0:06:31|
|95||Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:08:26|
|96||André Steensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Marcus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:10:43|
|101||Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram||Row 100 - Cell 2|
|102||Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|103||Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|104||Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|105||Laurent Didier (Lux) Team Saxo Bank||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|106||Bruno Langlois (Can) Canada||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team Milram||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|108||Marco Bandiera (Ita) Team Katusha||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|109||Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|110||Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step||0:12:19|
|DNF||Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Timmy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Transitions||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi||Row 116 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank||Row 117 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack||Row 120 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Radioshack||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack||Row 122 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 123 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 125 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 126 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step||Row 127 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kurt Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team||Row 129 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team||Row 130 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Davide Vigano (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team||Row 131 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Anthony Roux (Fra) Française Des Jeux||Row 132 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux||Row 133 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank||Row 134 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Khalilov Mikhaylo (Ukr) Team Katusha||Row 135 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 136 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 137 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 138 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 139 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||Row 140 - Cell 2|
|DNF||David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini||Row 141 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||Row 142 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 143 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 144 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 145 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia||Row 146 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||Row 147 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne||Row 148 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram||Row 149 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana||Row 150 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Astana||Row 151 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana||Row 152 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto||Row 153 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Christophe Brandt (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||Row 154 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Francis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||Row 155 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Omega Pharma-Lotto||Row 156 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto||Row 157 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Vidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Footon-Servetto||Row 158 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Marco Corti (Ita) Footon-Servetto||Row 159 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Noé Gianetti (Swi) Footon-Servetto||Row 160 - Cell 2|
|DNF||David Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Footon-Servetto||Row 161 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||Row 162 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||Row 163 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom||Row 164 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Chad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing Team||Row 165 - Cell 2|
|DNF||George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team||Row 166 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team||Row 167 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 168 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 169 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne||Row 170 - Cell 2|
|DNF||François Parisien (Can) Canada||Row 171 - Cell 2|
|DNS||Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo||Row 172 - Cell 2|
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