Simon Gerrans took a convincing win at the GP Québec following a late attack on the last lap of the WorldTour race. The Australian National Road Champion joined Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) up the road ahead of the penultimate climb.
“It’s fantastic to win today,” said Gerrans. “This is some of the hardest racing on the calendar. It’s fantastic racing in Québec on an exciting circuit with great crowds and great ambience.”
Early attacks gave way to an eight-rider break that was caught with two laps left to race. Relentless counter-attacks followed. As teams repeatedly sent riders up the road, Gerrans calmly bided his team in the bunch.
“This circuit is a tough little circuit,” Gerrans noted. “There are a lot of corners. It’s always going up and down. We started out especially fast today and made the race quite difficult. There were a lot of tired guys at the finish.”
“I stayed quiet most of the race,” he added. “I really gambled on it being back together for the last lap.”
Just inside the final four kilometers, Van Avermaet made his move. Gerrans jumped to respond. The duo worked together to distance themselves from their chasers. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) posed the biggest threat as he jumped from the bunch and nearly bridged across.
“I attacked with everything I had and got away with Greg,” explained Gerrans. “I saw Peter was really close behind us, and I know how fast he is. I kept the break with Greg moving to make sure that Peter didn’t get back on.”
Inside the final kilometer, Gerrans and Van Avermaet had a small gap on Sagan and the chasing field. Around the final corner, Gerrans lead Van Avermaet towards the line. Van Avermaet opened the sprint. Gerrans came around him with enough time to celebrate his victory in Old Québec.
“We just managed to hold them off,” said Gerrans. “I’m happy to have pulled off the win. The team did a fantastic job protecting me so I could save energy for the finale."
Sports Director Laurenzo Lapage was thrilled with the effort displayed by ORICA-GreenEDGE to support Gerrans’ win.
“Without a good team, it’s nearly impossible win a race like this,” said Lapage. “The team did what we asked them to do. Each rider played a role to allow Simon to finish off with the win. I’m a proud and happy director.”