MONTRÉAL, Sept. 14, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Simon Gerrans made history when he won the Montréal Grand Prix Cycliste on Sunday, two days after clinching victory in Quebec City to become the first rider to snatch the two legs of the Canadian WorldTour programme in the same year. The Australian champion had already left his mark in Québec City as the first man to win twice in the old capital but his show of strength on the Mont Royal was even more impressive. While his Orica Greenedge teammates controlled the race all day and worked hard to quash the morning's break, they retrained enough strength in the finale to form a train and lead their leader out to an undisputed victory.
World champion Rui Costa was strong too but the 2011 winner had to be content with second place while pre-race favorite Tony Gallopin of France settled for third. Already third in Québec City, Lithuania's Ramunas Navardauskas was fourth ahead of Frenchman Romain Bardet.
A perfect day
"It was a perfect day because my whole team worked fine from the beginning to control the race, catch the escapees and in the end I also had teammates left to lead me out for the sprint. It was perfect," Gerrans said. "Every victory is special but to win both Québec and Montréal is just unbelievable. It's great to have two wins so close to the world championships. It shows my progression is just right," he added.
Slovenia's Jan Polanc (Lampre), already seen in the main break of the Québec GP, attacked from the gun with France's Arnold Jeannesson and Belgian neo-professional Louis Vervaeke. The three were quickly joined by 2012 Canadian champion Ryan Roth. With a biting cold on the roads of Mont Royal, the peloton let them go and the four took their lead to a maximum of 12:05 minutes after 50 kms.
Orica Greenedge train
Echelons took place after 69 kilometers when Movistar and Belkin upped the tempo to catch some of the favorites off their guard. Frank Schleck was the only prominent rider in the first part of the bunch until order was restored by Rui Costa and Simon Gerrans teammates. Astana riders took the reins from then on as the weather conditions led a few riders to call it quits like 2013 Vuelta champion Chris Horner, Tour de France stage winner Blel Kadri or Canada's Antoine Duchesne.
In the 15th ascent of Camillien Houde, Jeannesson and Roth were unable to keep with Polanc and Vervaeke, who remained alone in the lead until the final two laps, when the Slovenian went on his own. The action started in earnest in the last lap when Rui Costa attacked repeatedly, as did Belgium's Sep Vanmarcke. But the countless attempts were all reeled in by Gerrans teammates and the last kilometer saw the Orica Greenege train take shape and quash all hopes for their leader's opponents.
MONTRÉAL TO HOST GRAND PRIX FOR FIVE MORE YEARS
Montréal mayor Denis Coderre announced this morning at 11:00 at the start of the 5th edition of the Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes that the town would support the organization for the next five years, until the 2019 season.
"It is great news that the mayor gave us this morning. Everything led us to believe that the City would support us in the next editions, but the announcement made a few moments before the peloton started for the fifth edition demonstrates how attached this precious partner is to our event," said GPCQM President Serge Arsenault. "The announcement is a token of stability for the Grands Prix Cyclistes, the only UCI WorldTour events in the Americas," he added.
Québec City has indicated that they might also extend the presentation of the event for the following years. An announcement should be made over the next two weeks.
ABOUT THE RACES
The Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes, the only two UCI WorldTour races held in North America, contribute in large measure toward the achievement of one of the International Cycling Union's primary objectives: the globalization of élite-level cycling. These races are now established, UCI-sanctioned events alongside events in Europe, Oceania and Asia. The organizing committee has been responsible for planning and putting on the Québec City and Montréal GPs since 2010, and receives vital support from public- and private-sector partners: the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec, the City of Québec, the City of Montréal, the National Battlefields Commission, the Office du tourisme de Québec, Tourisme Montréal, Québecor, Air Transat, Via Rail and Québec Original. http://gpcqm.ca/en/home/
SOURCE: Événement GPCQM
For further information: Véronique Lavoie, Responsable des communications et des médias, Head, Communications and Media Relations, Cell. 514 554-2161, [email protected]; Yves Perret, Directeur de presse internationale, International Media Director, Cell. 514378-2677, [email protected]