Gerrans wins GP Quebec to notch up ORICA-GreenEDGE's 100th victoryFri 12 Sep 2014
Liège-Bastogne-Liège champion Simon Gerrans has become the first rider to win two editions of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec with a well-timed victory this afternoon.
Fittingly, the victory marks the 100th win for ORICA-GreenEDGE since the team began in 2012, Gerrans also posting the very first result at the Australian championships in the team’s debut season.
All did not go to plan for the 34-year-old, a mechanical with just 20km to go threatened his ambitions, but with the support of a fully committed ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit the Australian champion was able to recover back to the bunch.
“It was a very stressful last 20km,” Gerrans said.
“With a mechanical problem with just over 20km to go I actually thought my day was over.
“I had to go back and change my bike but fortunately our team car was right up there in the convoy so I didn’t lose alot of ground and the bunch slowed ever so slightly when I was trying to come back which gave me the chance to come back pretty quickly.
“Then I had some great support from the guys in the group to put me back in contention to go for the win.”
In the final, an early bolt to the line by Giant-Shimano’s Tom Dumoulin looked to have caught the select finish group off guard, but Gerrans timed his move perfectly to hit the front in the final metres.
“It was a pretty quick run in to the sprint,” Gerrans explained.
“There was a little group off the front, which Pieter Weening and Michael Albasini dragged back.
“I was staying with Daryl (Impey) who was going to lead me out, but with 300m to go when Tom Dumoulin opened his sprint up I had to make the decision to also start my sprint early otherwise I didn’t think we were going to catch him.
“I started sprinting with about 250m to go, uphill and into a head wind, so I went from a really long way out, managed to squeeze through a gap about 200m to go and rounded Tom up in the final few metres.”
When told about the team’s century milestone, Gerrans said it was a nice bonus but also a great sign for such a young team.
“That’s a nice feather in a cap,” he said.
“It’s huge for the team to have 100 wins and in only our third season so that’s fantastic.”
Earlier in the race, ORICA-GreenEDGE sent Canadian Christian Meier to the front of the peloton to chase down an early breakaway of four riders who had built an advantage of over ten minutes. The 29-year-old all but single handedly dragged the escapees back by the 50km to go mark.
Belgian Jens Keukeleire then joined a second and larger breakaway of 11 riders with additional numbers bridging across but, lacking the commitment, it was wound back in with seven kilometres to the finish line.
Sport director Matt Wilson commended another full team victory.
“Christian Meier rode 140km on the front with just help from one other rider which is an incredible effort in itself,” Wilson said.
“From there on we always had guys around Simon (Gerrans) and we had the other moves covered with Jens Keukeleire in the final as well.
“There were a few nervous times when we had a bike issue with two laps to go but again we had teammates to bring him back on and obviously he wrapped it up in the finish.
“Gerro is a very fitting guy to wrap at the 100th victory too, he has won some of the biggest races in the world and in the national champions jersey as well, so it’s great.”