Voeckler claims inaugural GP Québec

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.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom4:35:27
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:00:01
3Robert Gesink (Ned) RabobankRow 2 - Cell 2
4Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - TransitionsRow 3 - Cell 2
5Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 4 - Cell 2
6Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team MilramRow 6 - Cell 2
8Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 7 - Cell 2
9Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick StepRow 8 - Cell 2
10Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese ViniRow 9 - Cell 2
11Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team RadioshackRow 10 - Cell 2
12Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 11 - Cell 2
13Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française Des JeuxRow 12 - Cell 2
14Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese ViniRow 13 - Cell 2
15Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 14 - Cell 2
16David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Astana0:00:09
17Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioshackRow 16 - Cell 2
18Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 17 - Cell 2
19Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-DoimoRow 18 - Cell 2
20Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - TransitionsRow 19 - Cell 2
21Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions0:00:14
22Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team KatushaRow 21 - Cell 2
23Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank0:00:18
24Keven Lacombe (Can) Canada0:00:20
25Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:00:23
26Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions0:00:29
27Christian Knees (Ger) Team MilramRow 26 - Cell 2
28Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues TelecomRow 28 - Cell 2
30Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick StepRow 29 - Cell 2
31David Veilleux (Can) CanadaRow 30 - Cell 2
32Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'EpargneRow 32 - Cell 2
34Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 33 - Cell 2
35Evgueny Petrov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Charles Dionne (Can) CanadaRow 35 - Cell 2
37Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des JeuxRow 36 - Cell 2
38Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioshackRow 37 - Cell 2
39Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Footon-ServettoRow 38 - Cell 2
40Julien Elfares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 39 - Cell 2
41José Joaquim Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'EpargneRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick StepRow 41 - Cell 2
43Dominique Rollin (Can) CanadaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese ViniRow 43 - Cell 2
45Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) AstanaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team KatushaRow 45 - Cell 2
47Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) RabobankRow 47 - Cell 2
49John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 48 - Cell 2
50Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 49 - Cell 2
51Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 50 - Cell 2
52Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Alexander Botcharov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 52 - Cell 2
54Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team MilramRow 53 - Cell 2
55Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'EpargneRow 54 - Cell 2
56Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 55 - Cell 2
57Craig Lewis (USA) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) AstanaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick StepRow 58 - Cell 2
60Tristan Valenttin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 59 - Cell 2
61Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 60 - Cell 2
62Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des JeuxRow 61 - Cell 2
63Maxim Gourov (Kaz) AstanaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues TelecomRow 63 - Cell 2
65David Le Lay (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 64 - Cell 2
66Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) RabobankRow 66 - Cell 2
68Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Footon-ServettoRow 67 - Cell 2
69Guillaume Boivin (Can) CanadaRow 68 - Cell 2
70Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese ViniRow 69 - Cell 2
71Anthony Charteau (Fra) BBox Bouygues TelecomRow 70 - Cell 2
72Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 71 - Cell 2
73Will Routley (Can) Canada0:00:39
74Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des JeuxRow 73 - Cell 2
75Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:49
76Fabio Felline (Ita) Footon-Servetto0:01:01
77Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 76 - Cell 2
78Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-DoimoRow 77 - Cell 2
79Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank0:01:05
80Serge Pauwels (Bel) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:01:17
81Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:01:31
82José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:01:58
83Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini0:02:07
84Charles Wegelius (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:02:09
85Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:02:33
86Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack0:02:46
87Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick StepRow 86 - Cell 2
88Andriy Grivko (Ukr) AstanaRow 87 - Cell 2
89Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:02:48
90Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack0:03:40
91Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 91 - Cell 2
93Dario Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:04:26
94Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom0:06:31
95Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:08:26
96André Steensen (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 95 - Cell 2
97Marcus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-ServettoRow 96 - Cell 2
98Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team MilramRow 97 - Cell 2
99Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 98 - Cell 2
100Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:10:43
101Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team MilramRow 100 - Cell 2
102Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 101 - Cell 2
103Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo BankRow 102 - Cell 2
104Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 103 - Cell 2
105Laurent Didier (Lux) Team Saxo BankRow 104 - Cell 2
106Bruno Langlois (Can) CanadaRow 105 - Cell 2
107Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team MilramRow 106 - Cell 2
108Marco Bandiera (Ita) Team KatushaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-DoimoRow 108 - Cell 2
110Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step0:12:19
DNFSteven Cozza (USA) Garmin - TransitionsRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFTimmy Duggan (USA) Garmin - TransitionsRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFMartijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - TransitionsRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFDanny Pate (USA) Garmin - TransitionsRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFJavier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFMiguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFJoost Posthuma (Ned) RabobankRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) RabobankRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFDennis Van Winden (Ned) RabobankRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFJanez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioshackRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFSergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team RadioshackRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFYaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team RadioshackRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFIvan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-DoimoRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-DoimoRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFBrian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-DoimoRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFElia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-DoimoRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFMauro Facci (Ita) Quick StepRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFJurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick StepRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFKurt Arvesen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Vigano (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling TeamRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Roux (Fra) Française Des JeuxRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFJussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des JeuxRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFJens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo BankRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFKhalilov Mikhaylo (Ukr) Team KatushaRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFCyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFYuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La MondialeRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFAlfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre-Farnese ViniRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese ViniRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFSimone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese ViniRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFPatrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFFrantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - ColumbiaRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'EpargneRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFMathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'EpargneRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Roberts (Aus) Team MilramRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFPaolo Tiralongo (Ita) AstanaRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFYevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) AstanaRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFRoman Kireyev (Kaz) AstanaRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFChristophe Brandt (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFFrancis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFMichiel Elijzen (Ned) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFVidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Footon-ServettoRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Corti (Ita) Footon-ServettoRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFNoé Gianetti (Swi) Footon-ServettoRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Footon-ServettoRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFPierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues TelecomRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) BBox Bouygues TelecomRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFSébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues TelecomRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFChad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFGeorge Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFJeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFRémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFFrançois Parisien (Can) CanadaRow 171 - Cell 2
DNSKristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-DoimoRow 172 - Cell 2

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