Gerrans completes Canadian double with GP Montreal winSun 14 Sep 2014
Australian champion Simon Gerrans has become the first rider in history to complete the Canadian double, backing up his Québec victory on Friday with an impressive win at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal today.
In another inspiring team effort, the ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit dominated the final kilometres of the 205.7km WorldTour race, a complete lead-out still present despite a hugely reduced field.
“I couldn’t have asked any more of the team again today,” Gerrans said.
“We set out a plan at the start of the day, everyone followed it perfectly and the race unfolded exactly as we wanted.
“To still have four or five teammates there coming into the final was amazing so I am just really happy to be able to finish off some great teamwork again.”
After crashing and later withdrawing from this year’s Tour de France, Gerrans has rebuilt his 2014 season hoping to continue his form into the world championships in two weeks time.
“It’s only comparative to everyone else,” the 2014 Liège-Bastogne-Liège champion said of his form.
“I have worked pretty hard after the Tour de France and just tried to maintain things for the last few weeks leading into these races. Hopefully I still have a little bit to find before the world championships in a couple of weeks.”
Sport director Matt Wilson said the entire team had the utmost assurance in Gerrans’ ability to finish off for his second consecutive win.
“On a hard race like this with a select group he is one of the fastest guys in the world and we are all supremely confident in him,” Wilson said of Gerrans.
“Even despite that, the guys we have here at the finish (Michael) Albasini, (Daryl) Impey and even (Jens) Keukeleire as well, these are all world class guys in that sort of finish so when you put them all together, it’s a pretty unbeatable combination.”
Much like Quebec, the peloton began today’s race relaxed as a four-man breakaway, including Jan Polanc (LAM), Louis Vervaeke (LTB), Ryan Roth (CAN) and Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ), built up a gap of almost 11minutes.
ORICA-GreenEDGE again took responsibility for much of the early chase, this time with Mathew Hayman for the long haul.
Eventually back together for the final lap, the attacks began and Gerrans maintained his position up front. As the front couple of groups joined together, the 34-year-old was reunited with his teammates as they began their domination on the remaining field.
“We had a really good look at how the race went the last few years and we knew that it was teams with numbers that could control it in the final and come up trumps,” Wilson said.
“We gambled that it would be the case again and tried to use minimum guys all day, just wait for that last five kilometres and really take control then which is exactly what happened.
“Mat (Hayman) had the most work to do today. It fell to Christian (Meier) in Quebec but we felt Christian could possibly go a bit further into the day today being a climber and we could use him a little later on.”
“Then it was up to the other guys in the finish.”