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GP Cycliste Montreal Report, Full Results, Photos, Video of Finish

by Laura Robinson

September 11, 2011 (Montreal, QC) –  In a stunning upset, Tour de France stage winner, Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Movistar Team out-dueled the favourites on the final lap to claim the 205.1km Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal win, his first World Tour victory. Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) part of the final 3-rider break finished second while the top-ranked Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) surged at the end to land on the podium in third.

The sun gods were smiling again the world’s top riders gathered on Mount Royal to do battle once again for the Grand Prix Cycliste Montreal, round two of the Canadian World Tours. Following the rider introductions and welcome speeches, a moment of silence was observed to remember those who lost their lives ten years ago on September 11th when the World Trade Centre was attacked by terrorists. And then a celebration of life commenced.

With a start on Avenue des Pins, cyclists hit the Mount Royal climb less than a minute from the start-for the first of seventeen ascents, and later a shorter but steeper, Ecole Polytechnique climb, hit them at the University of Montreal.

The course demands climbing abilities as well as fast descents and corners that require the best technique. In the end it was a courageous break of three that triumphed as they were chased down to the line by the peloton in one of the most exciting finishes ever on this circuit.

For the final five laps the flurry of attacks made for an exciting race as riders formed groups ranging from three and twenty-five tried to break away and establish a gap that would stick but no one could get away until halfway thru the final lap.

All attempts were swallowed up until Movistar’s Costa from Portugal, who rode a brilliant and courageous race, turned his last lap, three-man break into the final sprint of lifetime as they were about to be swallowed by the hungry pack.

Gilbert made a valiant kick at the end but could only manage third at two seconds back, still remarkable given his earlier bike problems and then crash on one of the corners. Fourth place went to Gilbert’s teammate, Jurgen Roelandts also from Belgium, who was able to catch the third rider in the final break, Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek) of Austria, who ended up 5th.

The top Canadian was Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo) who challenged near the end but the cards were not in his favour and he finished at 4 seconds back in 11th. “It’s a tough course,” he commented post race. “I tried my best up the University climb on the final lap but wasn’t able to make the headway needed. Still I’m happy with my race and to finish the season in Canada at the GP Montreal.”

Costa, who won Stage 8 at the Tour de France this year, was beaming. “This is the result of good homework preparing for this race,” said Costa. “The Movistar riders trained hard,” added Team director Yvon Ledannois. “We said we had to make sure that we didn’t make the long trip to Canada to come home empty handed. The Movistar riders were at the front in Quebec City and in Montreal.”

Costa went on to explain that he wasn’t afraid of the peloton catching the break once they had descended the University of Montreal climb and saw that they only had one kilometre to go. “We never really thought that it would go any other way. The only thing to think of was that Fedrigo was the man to beat.”

Meanwhile Fedrigo was extremely pleased. He had missed the Tour de France after six months of trying to find out what was wrong with him. He had Lyme’s Disease and is still in recovery mode. “I was out of competition, I had cramps. This was a lot of work.” He added that he’s taking one race at a time and cannot predict if he will be at the road world championships in Copenhagen.

Gilbert, who won the Quebec City World Tour on Friday which gave him the lead in the World Tour ranking, had a race filled with frustration. At one point he needed a new bike and had to be paced back on to the peloton by his teammates and then soon after he was involved in a crash on one of the tight corners.

“Honestly I thought I had a superb result. I crashed and I was really scared after that I might not be able to race at the Worlds. But I managed to get back on the bike and race and felt better and better. There was even a point when I tried to bridge the gap to the breaking group on the last lap. The pace was very high and it is always good for me when the pace is high.

Gilbert charged from behind in the final stretch to the finish as the peloton was bearing down on the three leaders. “Five hundred metres was probably the longest sprint of the season,” he said of the effort needed to catch Denifl. “There was not more I could do.”

At the finish Gilbert graciously made a speech to the crowd. “I really wanted to say thank Canada publicly. I realized there were many people cheering me… I didn’t know that I had so many fans here. I was surprised cycling is a really popular sport here in Canada, not only in Europe.”

At the post race press conference Hesjedal continued, “I can’t say I am disappointed to race here in Canada, Quebec City and Montreal. It’s an important part of the season. In the last few days I’ve enjoyed myself. It’s difficult to compare my results from last year (referring to his fourth place in 2010). “You can see the level here – how strong it was. Our team was strong – we were there both days.” When asked about how the end of the last lap went for him, he said that his radio wasn’t working and it was hard to know exactly where everyone was.

Hesjedal added these are his last races of the season, as he will not be riding for Canada at the Road World Championships. “The course is more suited to sprinters. It doesn’t make sense to head back to Europe and try to perform on a course where there likely will be a bunch finish. I had seventy-nine race days and will do the Tour Down Under next year. January comes pretty quickly.”

Fans had chalked in Hesjedal’s name on the course and throughout the 12.1km circuit throngs of crowds went wild. Thousands of spectators made Mount Royal their destination while some made picnics on the spacious parks and hills – it was generally one big cycling love-in.

The peloton was split early in race with 50-60 riders forming a lead group but the first serious break of the day came soon after on the third lap with USA’s Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad) riding aggressively up Mount Royal. He was followed by Italy’s Danilo Di Luca (Katusha), Anthony Geslin (FDJ) of France, and Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) of Japan. The 4-rider break sustained itself for fourteen of seventeen laps and had a 6+ minute lead at one point but by lap 12 the gap was down to 3:14 as Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank attacked and then teammate Grischa Niermann took a pull as the leaders were now within reach.

Di Luca eased up and was reeled in as Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Esp) Sky Procycling and Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing attacked with Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickste joining them. They caught Geslin and Arashiro but Pate wanted the Climber’s jersey and stayed away longer to claim it.

Meanwhile on the fifteenth lap with three to go Svein Tuft (SpiderTech) jumped and tried to bridge to the lead chase group. Five more riders, including Canadian David Veilleux (Europcar) jumped as well and caught him. Soon after they merged with four lead chasers and they reeled in Pate.

As the group rounded the straightaway to the finish Canada’s Veilleux tried a solo break and started the penultimate lap on his own but was quickly swallowed up but the 10-strong chase group with the pack close behind.

From there it was jump after jump, but as Hesjedal noted, with riders like Gilbert, Robert Gesink of Rabobank, and Levi Leipheimer of Radioshack constantly attacking, and a fast pace it was very difficult for any marked rider to sustain a lead.

A group of 15 with Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Cervelo) and Michael Barry (Can) Sky) along with  Tuft and Veilleux tried to get away but Gilbert and Gesink responded from behind. Tuft and Veilleux were dropped as Barry put the pressure on they were shut down.

On the last lap Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling was up there with Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling and Christian VandeVelde (USA) Garmin-Cervelo but they couldn’t get away either.

Suddenly the winning break formed with Fedrigo, Denifl and Costa as the Polytechnique University climb approached. Gesink sensing the danger attacked from behind as Sanchez and Hesjedal joined him. But Costa and his partners were not easy prey and with 3km to go the gap was not coming down.

As the chasers wobbled in their efforts to collaborate and reel in the leaders the finish line approached and Costa sensing victory launched his final assault to take a  well-deserved win.

Results

1. Rui Alberto Faria Costa (Por) Movistar Team 5:20:18
2. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:02
4. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
5. Stefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard Trek
6. Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:00:04
7. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
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
12. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team
13. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
14. Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
15. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
16. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
17. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
18. Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack
19. George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team
20. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team
21. Anders Lund (Den) Leopard Trek
22. David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar
23. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
24. Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Esp) Movistar Team
25. Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad
26. Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
27. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
28. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:10
29. Hayden Roulston (Nzl) HTC-Highroad
30. Miguel Minguez Ayala (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
31. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
32. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
33. Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Pro Team Astana
34. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre – ISD
35. Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank Sungard
36. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
37. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack
38. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team
39. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Esp) Movistar Team
40. André Steensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:14
41. Bruno Pires (Por) Leopard Trek
42. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:16
43. Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale
44. Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
45. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
46. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
47. Jesús Herrada Lopez (Esp) Movistar Team 0:00:21
48. Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team Astana
49. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
50. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Esp) Sky Procycling 0:00:28
51. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team
52. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
53. Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ 0:00:32
54. Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling 0:00:34
55. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
56. Brian Vandborg (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:38
57. Rubén Plaza Molina (Esp) Movistar Team
58. Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:40
59. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:00:43
60. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:44
61. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:44
62. Francois Parisien (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10 0:04:43
63. Edward King (USA) Liquigas-Cannondale
64. Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
65. Benjamin King (USA) Team RadioShack
66. Svein Tuft (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
67. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
68. Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
69. Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek
70. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
71. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling
72. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ
73. Mikel Landa Meana (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
74. Francesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team
75. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team
76. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
77. Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo
78. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
79. Óscar Pujol Muñoz (Esp) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:04:48
80. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:04:56
81. John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
82. Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek
83. Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
84. Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShack
85. Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
86. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo
87. Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar 0:06:53
88. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar
89. Grégory Rast (Sui) Team RadioShack
90. David Loosli (Sui) Lampre – ISD
91. Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad
92. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ
93. Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:08:24
94. Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale
95. Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre – ISD
96. Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre – ISD
97. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard
98. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Esp) Saxo Bank Sungard
99. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
100. Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
101. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
102. Julien Vermote (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
103. Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team
104. Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha Team
105. Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
106. Enrique Sanz (Esp) Movistar Team
107. Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad
108. Ryan Roth (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
109. Javier Iriarte (Esp) Movistar Team
110. Caleb Fairly (USA) HTC-Highroad
111. Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
112. Laurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:10:24
DNF Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
DNF Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team
DNF Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
DNF David Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
DNF Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
DNF Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
DNF Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
DNF Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Omega Pharma-Lotto
DNF Jeremy Hunt (Gbr) Sky Procycling
DNF Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling
DNF Mikel Astarloza (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Alan Perez Lezaun (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Iván Velasco Murillo (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Brice Feillu (Fra) Leopard Trek
DNF Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team
DNF Thimothy Roe (Aus) BMC Racing Team
DNF Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing Team
DNF Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad
DNF Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad
DNF Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad
DNF Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre – ISD
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre – ISD
DNF Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre – ISD
DNF Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Esp) Saxo Bank Sungard
DNF Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack
DNF Robert Hunter (RSA) Team RadioShack
DNF Jason McCartney (USA) Team RadioShack
DNF Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team
DNF Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team
DNF Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team
DNF Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team
DNF Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team
DNF Allan Davis (Aus) Pro Team Astana
DNF Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana
DNF Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana
DNF Sergey Renev (Kaz) Pro Team Astana
DNF Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Pro Team Astana
DNF David Arroyo Duran (Esp) Movistar Team
DNF Addy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team
DNF Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team
DNF Martin Elmiger (Sui) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
DNF Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
DNF Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
DNF Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar
DNF Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar
DNF Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
DNF Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ
DNF Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
DNF Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
DNF Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
DNF Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
DNF Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
DNF Ryan Anderson (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
DNF Bruno Langlois (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
DNF Lucas Euser (USA) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10
DNF Will Routley (Can) Team SpiderTech Powered By C10





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