Peter Sagan sprints to victory at GP Quebec

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in Canada, sprinting out of a reduced bunch to take another WorldTour victory.

The world champion and current WorldTour ranking leader took the victory ahead of Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in second and Anthony Roux (FDJ) in third.

The first of two WorldTour Laurentian Classics was 16-laps of a 12.6-km circuit with several stings in its tail: the Cote de la Montagne (375-metres of 10%), the Cote de la Potasse (420-metres at 9%), the small Montée de la Fabrique climb and then the finishing grind up to the line, one kilometre of 4%.

First six riders flashed away on Lap 1, with two others bolstering the move. In this first break were Team Canada and Silber member Nicolas Masbourian and Lotto-Soudal’s Lars Bak (Denmark). The octet pulled out 4:30 by the end of two laps. Orica-BikeExchange’s Canadian Christian Meier led the peloton with teammate Michael Matthews, the 2015 runner-up, in mind. Etixx-QuickStep worked for Julian Alaphillipe (France).

Halfway through the race, the gap had been clipped to 3:25. As BMC cranked it up on Lap 12’s passage of the Potasse, Peter Sagan (Slovakia/Tinkoff) lost contact with the field. Bak ripped away from his breakmates on the long drag to the Grande Allee finish.

Stage winner at the 2012 Giro d’Italia, Bak carried on solo on Lap 13. First an attack by LottoNL-Jumbo and Astana riders closed the gap before Luke Rowe (Sky) and Alaphilippe reached Bak and then left the Dane behind. The new front duo led through the first half of Lap 14 but were reeled in.

The action was hot heading into Lap 15. Thirteen riders, including Direct Energie’s Canadian Antoine Duchesne, scampered away. Last season’s Vuelta a España champion Fabio Aru and two Lampre riders were included. But a lack of cohesion doomed the bunch. One of the Lampre riders, Slovenian Matej Mohoric, carried on alone.

Mohoric was brought to heel and then it was Paul Voss’s turn just before the bell lap. Bora-Argon 18’s German led onto the Plains of Abraham. Oliver Naesen (Belgium/IAM) then had his solo bid in the final 9-km. AG2R grabbed the reins in the peloton and Naesen was lassoed with 3.3-km remaining.

On the Montagne Etixx-QuickStep’s Matteo Trentin (Italy) attacked with Alaphilippe and Gianni Moscon (Italy/Sky).

Moscon left the Etixx duo behind. Suddenly reigning champ Rigoberto Uran loomed into view and passed everyone on the long drag into the headwind. It looked like he had the race in the bag, but Sagan, who had been playing possum all day, ripped by the faltering Uran on the left. Sagan adds the GP Quebec to his 2013 GP Montreal win. Olympic roade champion Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium/BMC) was the runner up.

GP Quebec 2016 results:

1 Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)

5:07:13

2 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

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3 Anthony Roux (FDJ)

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4 Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Dapac)

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5 Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange)

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6 Nathan Haas (Dimension Data)

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7 Diego Ulissi (Lampre – Merida)

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8 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

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9 Youcef Reguigui (Dimension Data)

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10 Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha)

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anthony roux canada GP Quebec greg van avermaet Peter Sagan Tinkoff WorldTour

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