QUÉBEC, Sept. 11, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step) surged under the red flame to hold the fast men of the peloton at bay and win the 6th edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec ahead of two of the best sprinters in the world, Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). The first Colombian to win either of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec races after finishing third in Quebec in 2011, Uran made the best of the work done by his super-strong Eitxx-Quick Step team to clinch his best victory of the season.
The start of the 6th Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec was given to 136 riders at 11:00. Attempts took place from the gun, notably by Lieuwe Westra (Astana) but the day's break took shape at kilometer 6, when two Team Canada riders, Ryan Roth and Adam De Vos, broke clear with Cesare Benedetti (Bora Argon), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), Wouter Wippert and Darren Lapthorne (both Drapac). The peloton was content with letting the six go and the gap increased quickly to reach a maximum of 9:10 at kilometer 31. Involved in a crash, Bernhard Eisel (Sky) was the first rider out of this edition of the Grands Prix Cyclistes.
The break allowed Adam De Vos to collect points for the KOM classification on Cote des Glacis.
BMC and Trek Factory worked to keep the lead within reasonable limits as Wouter Wippert was dropped by the leading group after his chain snapped (km 55). The Dutchman later gave up.
In the 11th lap, Wippert's team-mate Lapthorne was in turn dropped by the breakaway group whose lead had gone under two minutes. One lap later, Benedetti attacked on Cote des Glacis, splitting the front group. Only Ryan Roth managed to stay with him but their lead had melted to 40 seconds in lap 13 as the peloton started to become jittery.
In the 14th lap (Km 168), Lars Bak (Lotto-Soudal), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha) and Brent Bookwalter (BMC) joined Roth and Benedetti, who lost ground in the KOM climb and was pulled back.
The five were joined in the penultimate lap by seven other riders: Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal), Fabio Felline (Trek Factory), Silvan Dillier (BMC), Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Romain Bardet (AG2R).
The group was caught but Bardet and Alaphilippe kept attacking at the front of the bunch, in which world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step) was also constantly well-placed. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) moved in turn and tackled the last lap with a slim 15-seconds lead over the pack. Attempts multiplied in the finale with former winner Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) charging in the last climb before Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), twice a podium finisher here, tried to shake off the peloton in the last stretch, but Uran moved ahead under the red flame, never to be seen again. The final sprint was then for second place only and the runner-up honors finally went to Malcolm Matthews (Orica-Greenedge) ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).
Canadian pride was salvaged by Ryan Roth, who snatched the KOM jersey thanks to his relentless activity in the break all day.
Rigoberto Uran: "We had a very strong team at the start with Kwiatkowski or Alaphilippe and our plan was to get to the last kilometer and go from there. That's what we did. It worked and I'm very happy. It was of course an advantage to have so may contenders in the team."
FACTS AND FIGURES
Born on January 26, 1987 in Medellin (Colombia)
1.62 metres - 54 kilos
Professional in 2006 : Tenax (06), Unibet (07), Caisse d'Epargne (08-10), Team Sky (11-13), OmegaPharma-Quick Step (14), Etixx-Quick Step (15)
8 victories including stage 8 of Tour de Suisse 2007, stage 4 of Tour of Catalunya, Tour of Piemont 2012, stage 10 of Giro d'Italia 2013, stage 12 (individual time trial of Giro d'Italia 2014), Colombian time trial champion, GP de Québec 2015
This season : 3rd in Tirreno-Adriatico, 5th in Tour of Catalunya, 5th Tour de Romandie, 10th in Clasica San Sebastian
Tour de France (3 participations): 52nd in 2009, 24th in 2011, 42nd in 2015
Giro d'Italia (5 participations): 35th in 2010, 7th in 2012, 2nd in 2013, 2nd in 2014, 14th in 2015
Vuelta (4 participations): 33rd in 2010, 29th in 2012, 27th in 2013, DNS (stage 17) in 2014
ABOUT THE GRANDS PRIX CYCLISTES DE QUÉBEC ET DE MONTRÉAL
The Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal, the only two spots on the UCI WorldTour in America, contribute to fulfilling one of the primary objectives of the UCI WorldTour: the globalization of élite cycling. These tour stops join the list of existing, officially sanctioned events in Europe, Oceania and Asia. Since 2010, the organization has been responsible for the planning and the conduct of the GPCQM and counts on the invaluable support of public and private partners to maintain its standards: the government of Canada, the government of Québec, the city of Québec, the city of Montréal, the National Battlefields Commission, the Québec Tourism Bureau, Montréal Tourism, Québecor, Air Transat, and TVA Sports (official Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal).
ABOUT THE UCI
The International Cycling Union (UCI) is the international federation of cycling, recognized by the International Olympic Committee (ICO). The UCI oversees the worldwide management and promotion of the eight disciplines of cycling.
SOURCE Événement GPCQM
For further information: Véronique Lavoie, Responsable des communications et relations médias, Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal, 514 554-2161, [email protected]