Gilbert moves to top of UCI rankings with strong GP Cycliste de Québec win
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Friday, September 09, 2011

Gilbert moves to top of UCI rankings with strong GP Cycliste de Québec win

by Shane Stokes at 4:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Gesink battles all the way to the line, Uran nets third

Philippe Gilbert Seizing first place in the UCI WorldTour classification in style, Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma Lotto) shrugged off his own pre-race sentiments of tiredness to battle to a strong victory in the GP Cycliste de Québec. The Belgian attacked out of a ten man breakaway group with 2.8 kilometres remaining and fended off a determined chase by the Dutchman Robert Gesink (Rabobank), hitting the line one second ahead.

Gesink finished a disappointed second but the 2010 GP Cycliste de Montréal winner showed that he is superb form, covering the final 200 metres faster than Gilbert and almost clawing his way back up to him by the line. He improved last year’s finishing position by one place and will be highly motivated for Sunday’s defence of his title.

Sky Procycling rider Rigoberto Uran soloed in for third, nine seconds back, while Fabian Wegmann (Leopard Trek) and Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) took fourth and fifth, a handful of seconds further behind.

“It was very difficult race as Sky went very, very fast from the start,” a tired but happy-looking Gilbert said afterwards. “In the last third, everybody was tired. Nobody was able to attack because there was a strong headwind. It was hard to control because I had no team-mate. I panicked a bit, I was on my own and I was not sure how to get out of it."

"Then Rabobank opened up the race and it went clearly better. It’s always easier between strong men. I tried to go at the start of the last lap but the group behind kept organised. I relaxed and tried to recuperate. In the last climb, I put the high gear and made the difference.”

He admitted to feeling a lot of nerves beforehand and in the race itself. That related to his goal to become world number one, having started the day just six points behind Tour de France champion Cadel Evans.

"For the first time this season I was a little stressed,” he admitted. “I had only six points to take for the World Tour Ranking but they were six hard points. Finally it turns out for the best.”

It was also a good day for Gesink, even if he was disappointed to miss out. He’s looking good for Sunday’s race and is likely to go up again against Gilbert once again there. This time, he hopes, things will be different.

Tough racing on world championship-like circuit:

The early attackers were Will Routely (SpiderTech p/b C10) and Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank SunGard), yesterday’s winner of the Challenge Sprint Pro race. They kicked clear right after the start of the first of sixteen laps of the 12.6 kilometre circuit, were joined soon afterwards by Martin Elmiger (Ag2r La Mondiale), but were then hauled back.

Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-ISD) then clipped clear seven kilometres into that opening lap, but was caught and passed on the Cote de la Potasse by Pierrick Quemeneuer (Europecar) and Ben King (RadioShack). These were in turn reeled in before the end of that lap by Cristiano Salerno (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Jesus Herrada (Movistar), who held an eleven second lead crossing the line.

Seventeen kilometres into the race, Tony Hurel (Europcar) bridged across and helped the other two to build what was a three minutes four second lead as they crossed the finish line for the end of lap two. One circuit later, they were a full six minutes 21 seconds clear, but over the next few laps it was clear that the gap was falling.

With five laps remaining, the speed was very much on behind and the peloton was a mere one minute 18 seconds back. Hurel got into difficultly and went south, leaving two out front and doing their utmost to remain clear. Herrada was feeling stronger and would drop his breakaway companion 147 kilometres after the start; the solo effort was too late, though, with the peloton moving along at a fair place. He was finally reeled in 49 kilometres from the line.

Garmin-Cervélo’s Pro Cycling Challenge runner-up Christian Vande Velde then seized the moment and surged ahead, his effort sparking off a nine-man move. The Chicago rider was joined by Irishman Philip Deignan (RadioShack), Jan Ghyselinck (HTC-Highroad), Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky Pro Cycling), Matteo Trentin (Quick Step), Tom Stamsnijder (Leopard Trek), Maciej Paterski (Liquigas-Cannondale) plus the Movistar pairing of Alberto Faria and Luis Pasamontes. Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma Lotto) and Leonardo Bertagnolli (Lampre) then also joined up.

The timing and composition wasn’t quite right, though, and they were recaptured 32 kilometres from the line. Trentin, Pasamontes and Faria were in a stubborn mood, and got into another break with Svein Tuft (Spidertech p/b C10).

Ferocious finale:


Things eventually came back together and then Gilbert decided to throw down the gauntlet. He accelerated hard on the Cote de la Montagne, and was followed by Gesink, Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Uran Rigoberto (Sky Pro Cycling), Fabian Wegmann (Leopard Trek), Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale), Simon Clarke (Astana), Gerald Ciolek (Quick Step) and Vacansoleil DCM duo Bjorn Leukemnas and Marco Marcato.

The Belgian champion held a slight lead going over the start/finish line with one lap left, then was reeled in by the others. They rode together towards the finish. With 4.5 kilometres to go Gesink attacked hard on an uphill section, being joined initially by Ciolek and Gilbert, then by the others who profited from the slight stall.

The Dutchman remained in front until 2.8 kilometres from the line. There Gilbert kicked again, opening an immediate advantage and resisting an attempt by Leukemans to come across.

Gesink put in a much better chase and was almost up to Gilbert’s back wheel with two kilometres to go. However the Belgian champion put it up a gear and surged again, distancing the Dutchman and pulling further and further ahead.

That seemed like game over but Gesink was utterly determined to try to win. He fought all the way, inching closer and closer once again, slipped back to ten lengths behind when Gilbert surged inside the final uphill 500 metres, then battled back. He sprinted flat out all the way and managed to reduce the deficit to four or five lengths by the line.

He came up short, though, having to be satisfied with second place on the day. The tall climber crossed one second back, with Sky’s Rigoberto Uran a further eight seconds back in third.

The victory was an important win for Gilbert, moving him into the ProTeam lead and making it increasingly likely he can win the competition overall. “In Montreal, I’ll be under far less pressure,” he said. “It’s already mission accomplished for me.”
 

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GP Cycliste de Quebec (WorldTour) Results: Quebec to Quebec (201.6km)

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.

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Country Result Name Team Time
bel BEL 1 Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) 05:03:08
ned NED 2 Robert Gesink (Rabobank) s.t.
col COL 3 Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) 00:00:09
ger GER 4 Fabian Wegmann (LEOPARD - TREK) 00:00:14
usa USA 5 Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) 00:00:15
bel BEL 6 Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:23
ita ITA 7 Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale) 07:00:23
ita ITA 8 Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:25
ger GER 9 Gerald Ciolek (Quick Step) 00:00:30
aus AUS 10 Simon Clarke (Astana) 00:00:47
por POR 11 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Movistar) 00:01:17
sui SUI 12 Gregory Rast (RadioShack) 00:01:19
ita ITA 13 Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) 00:01:21
can CAN 14 Michael Barry (Team Sky) 00:01:23
esp ESP 15 Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
bel BEL 16 Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) 00:01:26
fra FRA 17 Remi Cusin (Cofidis) s.t.
fra FRA 18 Jérome Pineau (Quick Step) s.t.
nor NOR 19 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky) s.t.
can CAN 20 Dominique Rollin (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
esp ESP 21 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar) s.t.
can CAN 22 David Veilleux (Europcar) s.t.
den DEN 23 Anders Lund (LEOPARD - TREK) s.t.
ned NED 24 Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
jpn JPN 25 Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 26 Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) 04:01:26
can CAN 27 Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:01:39
esp ESP 28 Ruben Plaza Molina (Movistar) 00:01:42
bel BEL 29 Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) s.t.
fra FRA 30 Arnold Jeannesson (Française Des Jeux) 05:01:57
fra FRA 31 Arthur Vichot (Française Des Jeux) 00:02:10
aus AUS 32 Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) 00:02:18
ita ITA 33 Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
den DEN 34 Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ita ITA 35 Matteo Trentin (Quick Step) s.t.
irl IRL 36 Philip Deignan (RadioShack) s.t.
rus RUS 37 Pavel Brutt (Katusha) s.t.
fra FRA 38 Cyril Gautier (Europcar) s.t.
can CAN 39 Svein Tuft (SpiderTech powered by C10) s.t.
can CAN 40 Ryan Roth (SpiderTech powered by C10) s.t.
por POR 41 Bruno Manuel Silva Pires (LEOPARD - TREK) 05:02:18
ita ITA 42 Francesco Reda (Quick Step) 00:02:18
bel BEL 43 Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) s.t.
swe SWE 44 Gustav Erik Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 00:02:28
ita ITA 45 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
esp ESP 46 Luis Rodriquez Pasamontes (Movistar) 00:03:12
ned NED 47 Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 48 Anthony Geslin (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
slo SLO 49 Gorazd Stangelj (Astana) s.t.
nzl NZL 50 Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad) 00:03:24
fra FRA 51 Thibaut Pinot (Française Des Jeux) 02:04:04
fra FRA 52 Tony Gallopin (Cofidis) 00:04:04
esp ESP 53 David Arroyo Duran (Movistar) 03:04:25
ned NED 54 Dennis Van Winden (Rabobank) 00:04:37
ned NED 55 Pieter Weening (Rabobank) s.t.
usa USA 56 Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:04:43
ita ITA 57 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Lampre-ISD) 00:05:12
usa USA 58 Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) 00:05:40
col COL 59 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Cofidis) s.t.
kaz KAZ 60 Dmitriy Fofonov (Astana) s.t.
kaz KAZ 61 Sergey Renev (Astana) s.t.
ita ITA 62 Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
pol POL 63 Maciej Paterski (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
usa USA 64 Edward King (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
bel BEL 65 Julien Vermote (Quick Step) s.t.
usa USA 66 George Hincapie (BMC Racing) s.t.
fra FRA 67 Cédric Pineau (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
nor NOR 68 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 69 Sandy Casar (Française Des Jeux) s.t.
fin FIN 70 Jussi Veikkanen (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) s.t.
fra FRA 71 Saïd Haddou (Europcar) s.t.
bel BEL 72 Jan Ghyselinck (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
esp ESP 73 Jon Izagirre Insausti (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
usa USA 74 Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
fra FRA 75 Mickael Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:09:28
esp ESP 76 Jesús Lopez Herrada (Movistar) 00:12:23

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