The field is stacked with top international riders here for both WorldTours while preparing for the UCI Road World Championships taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark later this month. On the startline are big names like Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto, Samuel Sanchez (Esp) Euskatel-Euskadi, Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank (winner of the inaugural Montreal race last year), Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Cervelo, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky, Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack, and George Hincapie (USA) BMC.
For Canada Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo) leads the way with Michael Barry (Team Sky), David Veilleux (Europcar), Dominique Rollin (FDJ) along with SpiderTech p/b C10, Canada’s first Pro Conti team, with Svein Tuft, Will Routley, Martin Gilbert and many others…
A break of 3 riders including Jesus Herrada Lopez (Esp) Movistar, Tony Hurel (Fra) Europcar and Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas have 3-min lead on the peloton which is all together with Michael Barry (Can) Team Sky near the front in 21st.
The same three riders have extended their lead to 6 min as the peloton seems content to let them go for now…
Sanchez had a mechanical at the end of lap 3… as did Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quick Step.
As the race reaches the half way point gap is narrowing- down to 3 minutes 30s – Sky is at the front reeling in the break with Mike Barry the point man… lead is now down to 2:55.
Apologies for the gap in our coverage as we have been having internet problems.
20km to go
Six leaders have a 14s lead over the peloton, including Svein Tuft (Can) SpiderTech p/b C10. They are being reeled in quite quickly.
18km to go
Sorry, there are seven in the small break, which also includes Rui Da Costa (Por) Movistar. They are working well together, but it’s unlikely they will stay away. They still have the penultimate climb to go, before they start the 16th and final lap.
15.2km to go
Leukemans and Hoogenan have put in some big attacks to bridge to the gap. Gilbert and Gesink have jumped in there to join the effort. Their effort has shattered the field.
14km to go
Gilbert is now pushing the pace at the front. Tufts break has been enveloped by this surge. They are setting a grueling pace on the climb.
13km to go
Gilbert isn’t getting enough help from his fellow attackers and the shattered field is coming back together.
12km to go
The bell is ringing for the final lap and Gilbert is singlehandedly attacking the field. Is he trying to do the final lap alone for a solo win? Can he do it? His chasers look pretty tired.
11km to go
Gilbert is still alone off the front and he has a gap on a small group of chasers, who have distanced themselves significantly from the main field in a short time. Gilbert is in total TT mode and is managing his escape well.
10km to go
Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil, Bjoen Leukemans, Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack, Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quick Step, Fabian Wegman (Ger) Leopard Trek are all amongst the break, but can they hold off Gilbert? He has a 15s gap!
9km to go
Gilbert looks to have sat up, appearing to save his resources for the end. He’s letting the small group, which also includes Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank, come back to him. Has he burned too many matches or can Gilbert still pull it off?
8km go go
Christian Van De Velde (USA) is burying himself from the main field, trying to get the break back, but it’s 34s to bridge in less than 10km…
5.6km to go
It’s going to turn into a cat and mouse game very soon amongst the break.
5km to go
Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma – Lotto, Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas, Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank, Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack, Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quick Step, Fabian Wegman (Ger) Leopard Trek are all in the break.
3.6km to go
Gesink attacks the group hard. It looked like he was testing the waters. They are all back together, but things are looking nervous.
2.5km to go
Gilbert looked like he was dogging it after that attack, but now he is on the attack.
2km to go
Gesink is closing to Gilbert. The others are gapped.
1.6km go to
Gesink couldn’t make it to Gilbert. He is digging deep. Gesink is still chasing hard. Can he bridge?
500m to go
Gilbert is accelerating away again. Gesink cannot do it.
Gilbert wins, but Gesink gives him a run for his money, getting back to his wheel and forcing the Belgian to sprint. They completed the 201.6km, 16 laps in a time of 5:03:06, averaging 39.9kph.
Results (brief unofficial)
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 5:03:06
2. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:01
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Sky 0:09