Top twenty for Impey as the late break steals the show in Montreal

Sun 10 Sep 2017

South African national time trial champion Daryl Impey has finished in 17th place for ORICA-SCOTT at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal battling with the uphill finish as part of the chasing group behind a late attack.

A veritable war of attrition the 201kilometre race included 4,000metres of elevation and began with an early two-man breakaway out front for more than 100kilometres.

Once the initial duo came back the race was really on with Michael Albasini and Roman Kreuziger both active in the attacks that preceded the race winning move.

Despite good positioning and repeated attempts to go clear ORICA-SCOTT was not part of the six-rider group that accelerated away on the last lap.

Contributing to the chase with the group behind the Australian outfit came within seconds of making it back, running out of road as the late break reached the line with Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team-Emirates) taking the win as Impey struggled in the sprint with a broken rear derailleur.

“The guys were fantastic today,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “The first breakaway came back quite early and in effect that made for a really long and hard finale. Michael and Roman were very active over the last 40kilometres and involved in attack after attack, but when that group went we just lost contact.”

“It was unfortunate for Daryl that he had a problem with his rear derailleur just before they started to sprint for the top ten placings and he did well to get up there hold onto a top twenty.

“We tried to get things going in the chasing group, but it’s hard with the race favourites in there, everyone is marking each other and wants to make it hard for everyone else, playing tactically and sometimes that means you lose cohesion.

“It’s hard racing here and you saw today how gradually the bunch gets worn down, we knew that it would be a reduced group going for the win and for the most part of the race we had good numbers and positioned ourselves well, but we couldn’t quite get across to compete for the win.”

How it happened:

A fast start in Montreal saw two riders go clear from the flag drop and the duo immediately began to develop a lead, standing at four minutes after 30kilometres of racing.

The hilly course and fast pace of the peloton did not help the breakaway duo who were nearly caught before the halfway point as the bunch started to split on the climbs. That particular moment rang as a false alarm and the peloton duly reformed as the leaders pushed back out around the three-minute mark.

The race came alive with seven circuits remaining as the initial breakaway was reeled in before the next attacks started to fly with Sunweb and Lotto-Soudal really increasing the pace.

Repeated attacks came from the front of the bunch with first Albasini then Kreuziger involved before the race came back together yet again.

The last two laps intensified dramatically as the peloton thinned out over the successive climbs reducing to a favourites group that included Kreuziger, Albasini and Impey.

The key attack came on the final time over the climbs as a six-rider group created a gap and forged ahead. Despite an intense chase by the Impey group the leaders stayed away to contest the victory with Ulissi taking the honours.

GP Cycliste de Montreal results:

1. Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team-Emirates) 05:22:29

2. Jesus Herrada (Movistar) ST

3. Tom Jelte-Slagter (Cannondale-Drapac) ST

17. Daryl Impey (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:16

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