September 11, 2011 (Montreal, QC) – It’s another beautiful day for round two of the Canadian World Tours, the Grand Prix Cycliste Montreal, soon underway – 10 min to start. All eyes will be on Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto winner of Friday’s GP Cycliste Quebec City and a marked man in today’s race. Look for Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank, winner of the inaugural Montreal race last year, to challenge Gilbert again in defense of his title.
Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo), Michael Barry (Team Sky), David Veilleux (Europcar), Dominique Rollin (FDJ) and SpiderTech p/b C10 with Svein Tuft, Will Routley, Ryan Roth, Francois Parisien, Ryan Anderson, Bruno Langlois, Lucas Euser (USA) and Pat McCarty will be on the start line with 173 riders. The 12.1km course will take riders up Mount Royale 17 times for a total of 205.7km.
The riders are off on the first lap of 17 – two escape off the front but are soon swallowed up… now a Liquigas rider takes the lead.
A group of about 10 riders have broken away and have a 20s gap on the peloton – make that 12 riders up front with 2 chasers including a SpiderTech rider just behind at 14s – then the peloton…
There are three Garmin-Cervelo riders in the lead break (we think) – it’s SpiderTech’s McCarty with Pineau and now another rider has joined them behind the lead group.
The leaders come thru in 16:48 and the pack has swallowed up the three chasers and is closing in on the leaders at 14s with Omega Pharma-Lotto at the front pushing the pace.
Up the climb the break is splintering as an HTC-Columbia rider is leading… the peloton is not far behind.
The lead is changing as more riders join the leaders but the pack is right there.
The break is caught and a large group of 40-50 riders has now formed at the front with a gap on the chasing peloton.
The lead group comes thru to start the 3rd lap and the chasing pack is about 30s behind.
At the front it’s Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale driving the pace…
Canada’s Parisien and Roth are in the lead pack… now Parisien attacks and is out front.
Correction Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Columbia is out front and Parisien and a few others are trying to bridge to him. The first large group is right behind and watching every move.
Pate is getting away and has about 15s on the chasing pack and will soon finish lap 3…
Pate is thru and has a 30s lead on the first pack of 50 or so riders chasing him down… the second large group of 100+ riders is not far behind at 45-50s…
Up the climb four riders have escaped from the chase group and are looking to join Pate…
Earlier Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar was dropped and was among the caravan of cars behind – we’re not sure if he’s back on.
Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad looks like he’s having a problem and it could be it for him…
Pate contines to lead as the second group of chasers were absorbed and now two other riders have taken their place at 22s behind the race leader… the peloton is strung out behind.
Make that three riders who have now bridged to Pate… so we have four leaders including Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team, Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar, and Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ.
The four leaders start lap five as the peloton is now back together behind…
Gilbert is hanging at the back – he needs a bike change in a hurry… he gets one and is now trying to get back on – he’s moving thru the pack…
Up the climb Parisien is at the back having a chat with his DS Steve Bauer in the team car…
Di Luca leads the four up the climb as their lead is now about 1 min over the chasing peloton… on the side of the road is Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Esp) Movistar Team with a seat problem.
Gilbert goes down involved in a crash near the end of the lap… his hand many be hurt. A few team riders hang back and he’s now back on the bike as they try to bring him back to the peloton.
The lead is 4:50 as the 4 leaders come thru to start lap six of seventeen at 1:49:58… Gilbert will soon rejoin the peloton with the help of his two teammates. They pass Laurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank Sungard having a chat with his team car.
Rabobank and Sky are at the front as the peloton does not seem overly concerned with the break with 11 laps to go on this beautiful sunny day in Montreal… the fans are out in droves as the World Tour is uber popular in cycling-crazy Montreal.
The leaders have started the seventh lap with a 5:55 gap – the peloton continues their march behind at a leisurely pace.
With 11 laps to go there’s time but how much of lead is it willing to allow before it’s time to reel the leaders in.
The peloton has p/u the pace and the lead has dropped to 5:15… Gesink is near the front of the pack biding his time as Rabobank and Sky lead the pack up the climb with riders strung out behind.
With a 120km to go the four leaders continue to enjoy their lead as the crowd cheers them on their way thru with 10 laps to go…
Looks like the peloton has had enough and they’ve cut the lead by a minute now down to 4:15.
The leaders are on the 9th lap with a time of 2:30:36 with just over 100km to go… Rabobank and Sky continue to lead the chasing peloton back to the leaders…the gap is down to 3:40.
Gilbert and Rolland are in the mix as the race will soon start to heat up… we’re over the 1/2 way point.
With 96.8km to go the peloton is on the climb chasing down the leaders with 8 to go… Di Luca leads the break up the climb.
The leaders continue to hold together taking turns at the front…
Up the second climb the University of Montreal with 86.6km to go the leaders will soon hit the start finish and begin the 11th lap with 7 to go… the route is lined with fans like Lex Albrecht (Juvederm-Specialized) below cheering on the Canadian riders.
There’s 7 to go as the leaders hit the 11th lap… the peloton is not gaining much time at 3:39 behind.
Dominique Rollin (FDJ) has abandoned – he may have been caught up in one of the earlier crashes that affected Gilbert, Rolland and other riders.
Now there’s only 6 laps go as the leaders begin the 12th lap of 17… now just over 72km to go – the peloton is at 3:14 behind.
Sky and Rabobank continue to ride at the front of the peloton…there’s still time to catch the leaders who are likely getting tired out front on their own all day – the clock is ticking.
The peloton is making time now as they’ve picked up the pace.
The four leaders must know the peloton has had enough as they come thru with 5 to go and the peloton is now only 2:39 behind with Rabobank, Sky, Radioshack and others leading the chase…
Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team is at the front riding for defending champ Gesink.
Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team has attacked and is now on his own chasing the leaders – the pace has picked up and the gap to the leaders is dropping fast now 1:14…
The gap is down to 45s as Niermann’s move has caught some riders off guard.
The pace is now heating up even more as the four leaders know their time at the front is soon up… lap time was 19:14. The peloton is right behind with Rabobank, Sky, BMC all at the front as Niermann and another rider are just in front at 45s behind.
Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Esp) Sky Procycling and Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing Team attack and pass Niermann and the other rider… the leaders are next.
Di Luca let’s up and the Flecha and Wyss pass him… Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team has joined them as the gap is down to 15s.
The three riders are trying to bridge… Tuft is at the front of the peloton chasing down the 3 front chasers and the three leaders.
The attacking is picking up behind as the three leaders come thru and have increased their lead to 23s over the 3 chasers – trying to stave off the inevitable.
Di Luca is spent now dangling off the back…
Pate is alone at front now as the others have been absorbed up the climb… the peloton is bearing down on him with Rabobank at the front with Sky nearby and Radioshack is there as well.
Seven riders have attacked and are off the front… Pate is hanging on thru the descent “pedalling away for dear life” describes the Eurosport announcer. Pate is gaining a bit of space at the front.
Tuft attacks and 5 riders are just behind…they catch him.
They’re gaining on Pate… he gets a bit of room on the descent but his time will likely be up soon.
Thru the feed zone they’re gaining and more riders are picking up the pace behind – this is the last opportunity to take fuel.
Pate is caught and there are about 15 riders including Tuft with a gap…
Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team is in there leading… now Veilleux attacks as the lap will soon end.
Veilleux is on his own powering to the finish line with a 10-man chase group lead by Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo very close.
Veilleux comes thru with 2 to go as the 10 riders swallow him up.
This group quickly swells to about 2o riders including Tuft, Barry, Veilleux – Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre – ISD is dangling in between but he will soon be caught up the climb.
Gilbert is at the front of the pack now at 12s chasing down the leaders.
Barry is out front the leaders – the lead group has splintered and now it’s down to 9 or 10 riders – Tuft and Veilleux have been dropped with others.
Hesjedal has moved up on to Gilbert’s wheel – Gesink is there as well – the peloton is picking up the pace behind.
BMC is now at the front of the pack as they chase down the 9-10 leaders.
The break continues to eat up km as the lap will soon end – Gilbert is now at the front of the chasing peloton.
The leaders are working well together and this could be the winning move – 18s gap – Canada’s Barry is in there. Movistar, Radioshack, BMC are in this group… the lap will soon be over.
The gap is 15s to the leaders.
Lap 17 FINAL
The gap is down to 9s as Hesjedal and Gilbert are driving the pace… the leaders are on the climb and the peloton is just behind.
A Movistar rider is out front… now he’s joined by 3 other riders so 4 have a small gap – Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling is up there as is Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling.
Gesink attacks the group and is trying to bridge – there are 6 riders out front with 2 dangling and then the peloton.
Three riders have jumped out front… Stefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard Trek, Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Por) Movistar Team (winner of Stage 8 at the TdF) and Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ with one rider trying to get across.
Gesink, Sanchez and Hesjedal are now attacking from behind at 7-10s with 4.4km to go.
Sanchez attacks… the 3 leaders are eating up the kilometres – can they be caught?
3km to go and they’re not gaining time… is an upset about to occur as the favourites can’t get organized ?
The pack explodes behind with Gilbert…
1. Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Por) Movistar Team 5:20:16
2. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:02
4. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
5. Stefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard Trek
6. Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre – ISD
7. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:04
8. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
9. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
10. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Leopard Trek
11. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo
22. David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar
54. Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling 0:34
62. Francois Parisien (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10 4:43
66. Svein Tuft (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10 4:43
108. Ryan Roth Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10 8:24
DNF Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ
DNF Ryan Anderson Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
DNF Bruno Langlois Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
DNF Will Routley Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10