Robert Gesink powers to GP Québéc victory
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Robert Gesink powers to GP Québéc victory

by Ben Atkins at 6:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Dutch climber beats the Classics specialists in first of two Canadian WorldTour races

robert gesinkRobert Gesink (Belkin Pro Cycling) took the first victory of his 2013 season in an uncharacteristic sprint finish at the end of the GP de Québéc, on the French-Canadian province capital’s Grande-Allée. The Dutch climber managed to hold off a raft of Classics specialists, including overwhelming race favourite Peter Sagan (Cannondale), as nobody was able to pass him on the uphill finishing straight.

French champion Arthur Vichot ( took second place, having started his sprint alongside Gesink but being forced to follow his wheel across the line, while Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) managed to overhaul Fabian Wegmann (Garmin-Sharp) in the race for third place.

“I’m really happy. I had an unlucky season so far and I worked really hard for this. I really love this area and I had a great preparation for almost a month here in America,” said Gesink.

“It’s true that the Montreal course, with a longer climb, normally suits me better.”

The race, which was based on 16 laps of a 12.6km circuit around Québéc’s old town, saw Pello Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Leopard) and Valerio Agnoli (Astana) escape at the end of the first lap, and the trio was 3’41” by the end of lap two.

At the 35km point the break’s lead reached a maximum of 6’12”, before Cannondale and Movistar both came forward to pull them back.

With six laps to go the three riders were still 1’35” clear, as the BMC Racing Team hit the front of the peloton, and Tejay van Garderen, Amaël Moinard and Steve Morabito all managed to pull clear. Spanish champion Jesus Herrada (Movistar) managed to follow the three BMC Racing riders, and Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) and Jack Bobridge (Belkin) jumped across. With 70km to go the counterattackers joined the three leaders,

Agnoli was dropped towards the end of the lap, then Bilbao was also left behind on the climb to the line leaving seven in the lead with five laps to go. Vorganov was the next to be dropped but the group was neutralised at the foot of the côte de la Montagne with just over 40km to go.

Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM), Daniel Oss (BMC Racing) and Yoann Offredo ( were then the next to escape, with Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Sergey Chernetskiy (Katusha), Bjorn Thurau (Europcar) and Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM) joining. With 32km to go they were just 20 seconds clear, however, and, with 27km to go, it was all over.

BMC Racing then took control of the peloton again, but could do nothing to stop George Bennett (RadioShack-Leopard) from escaping. The New Zealander was not able to get far, however, and was back in the peloton as it headed towards the côte de la Montagne for the penultimate time.

Vacansoleil-DCM, then Argos-Shimano led onto the climb, but Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) was the first to attack. Despite stringing out the group behind him though, the Canadian wasn’t able to get away, but Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) managed to on the descent that followed.

The former Dutch champion was initially chased by Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha) and Selvaggi, but the two chasers were enveloped by the chasing group. Terpstra champion was 25 seconds clear at the bell as the riders on the front looked to one another to chase.

Astana and Lampre-Merida trying to chase, but Omega Pharma-Quick Step had three riders in the front of the bunch to spoil it for them. Hesjedal tried to go again, but had Stijn Vandenbergh on his wheel; Lampre-Merida then started to chase again, but had a group of Omega Pharma-Quick Step riders behind them.

Cannondale took up the chase with nine kilometres to go, and with Terpstra 35 seconds ahead, but the Dutchman’s teammates were still disrupting. Around a corner, Cannondale’s Kristjan Koren was allowed to ride off the front by Omega Pharma-Quick Step and the Slovenian had to sit up and wait for the peloton to rejoin him.

Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge) then tried to chase alone, but Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Dries Devenyns went with him and sat on his wheel.

Team Sky then took up the chase, with Tour de France winner Chris Froome attacking as the peloton hit climb with 4km to go. Sagan attacked over the top, with Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Matteo Trentin holding onto his wheel and the pace dropped as Sagan looked to peel off.

Sagan went again on his own, but Trentin was the first rider up to him again. Van Avermaet then attacked, and Sagan followed, and the two of them finally caught Terpstra with 1.7km to go.

Gesink led Vichot and Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano) across to the three riders. Rui Costa (Movistar) also managed to get across, as Gesink tried to escape, then Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) and Wegmann also managed to join the group.

Gesink and Vichot then started their sprints on opposite sides of the road, with the Dutchman getting ahead straight away. Vichot got onto Gesink’s back wheel, but was unable to come past and the Dutchman took the victory; Van Avermaet had positioned himself on Sagan’s wheel, but the Slovakian champion sat up and the Belgian had to come around him, just beating Wegmann to the line.

Result GP de Québéc
1. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling
2. Arthur Vichot (Fra)
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Pro Cycling
4. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-Sharp
5. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar Team
6. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
7. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling
8. Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
9. Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling


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