ORICA-GreenEDGE Animates GP QuÃ©bec FinaleSat 14 Sep 2013
Simon Gerrans won the GP Québec last year, and his teammates hoped to repeat the feat this year in his absence. Despite late race efforts from Pieter Weening and Sebastian Langeveld to animate the finale, Fumy Beppu was the best placed rider for ORICA-GreenEDGE in 24th place, 8” behind race winner Robert Gesink (Belkin).
“We were there in the end with Pieter, Sebastian and Beppu,” said Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “We had planned to have those guys in the final, and that worked for us, but we didn’t have the result in the end. The boys learned a lot today, and we’re looking forward to giving it another shot in Montreal on Sunday.”
The fourth edition of the first of two Candian WorldTour events was again run on a 12.6km circuit in Old Québec. The peloton contested 16 laps of the undulating circuit.
Attacks from the gun gave way to a nine rider group sliping away from the peloton on the first circuit lap. With the finish line in sight, marking the start of lap two, the initial move was neutrlised and the day’s early break took shape. Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Peio Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Leopard-Trek) would spend the next nine laps away from the bunch.
“Cannondale controlled the race,” noted Lapage. “They had the race favourite in Sagan. They brought the break back from a maximum of six minutes to three minutes by the middle of the race. At the finish of lap ten, the three riders had returned to the bunch. That’s when the real race started. Our guys were ready.”
Four riders countered the catch of the early break, and the move soon swelled to nine. BMC had managed to put three riders in the group. Tejay van Garderen, Steve Morabito and Amaël Moinard drove the escape. They set a blistering tempo, reducing the group to seven riders in the process. Lampre-Merida and Saxo-Tinkoff gave chase until Cannondale took over on lap 13. Their chase work temporarily brought the reduced bunch back together.
Marco Marcato (Vancansoleil-DCM), Daniel Oss (BMC) and Yoann Offredo (FDJ.fr) were the next to jump away from the peloton. First Sergei Chernetckii (Katusha) and Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) then Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Bjorn Thurau (Europcar) bridged across to the leaders. Cannondale once again gave chase, catching the seven riders just ahead of the penultimate lap.
As expected, another group of riders tried their hand at an escape. George Bennett (RadioShack-Leopard-Trek) emerged from the late race five rider move as the lone leader. His attempt proved futile. The peloton overtook him 18km from the finish.
Ryder Hesjedal accelerated on the steep ascent of the Cote de la Montagne. His injection in pace saw riders lose contact with the bunch but did not create a selection. Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) was the next to jump. He powered away from the field and held a 30” advantage on the peloton as he crossed the finish line for the final lap.
Terpstra continued to extend his lead as Cannondale, Sky and ORICA-GreenEDGE gave chase. Their combined efforts only slightly cut into Terpstra’s advantage. Sagan took matters into his own hands, attacking on the final ascent of the Cote de la Potasse. Sagan gained a small gap on the field, which Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was able to bridge. The duo caught Terpstra 1.5km from the finish.
The leading trio swelled to include eight riders. The eight swelled to include nearly 30. Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano) attacked. Terpstra marked the move. The group came back together, and Weening accelerated. He was swarmed on the finishing straight as Gesink came to fore to take the win.
“I started the sprint early,” said Weening . “I tried to surprise but everyone was on my wheel. It was not nice for me in the end. I had no result, but the legs were good. We’ll try again on Sunday.