The first Colombian to win either of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec races Uran held off the charging pack as Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge finished second and Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha third.
With 136 riders on the start line attempts took place from the gun of the 16-lap race on the 12.6km course, notably by Lieuwe Westra (Astana) but the day’s break took shape at kilometer 6, when two Team Canada riders, Roth and Adam De Vos, broke clear with Cesare Benedetti (Bora Argon), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), and Drapac’s Wouter Wippert and Darren Lapthorne.
The peloton was content with letting the six go and the gap increased quickly to reach a maximum of 9:10 at kilometer 31. Involved in a crash, Bernhard Eisel (Sky) was the first rider out of this edition of the Grands Prix Cyclistes.
Meanwhile De Vos was racking up points for the KOM classification on Cote des Glacis. BMC and Trek Factory worked to keep the lead within reasonable limits as Wouter Wippert was dropped by the lead group after his chain snapped at km 55 – later the Dutchman gave up.
On the 11th lap, Wippert’s team-mate Lapthorne was in turn dropped by the breakaway group whose lead had fallen to under two minutes. One lap later, Benedetti attacked on Cote des Glacis, splitting the front group. Only Roth managed to stay with him but their lead had melted to 40 seconds by lap 13 as the peloton started to become jittery.
On the 14th lap at 168km, Lars Bak (Lotto-Soudal), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha) and Brent Bookwalter (BMC) joined Roth and Benedetti, but the Bora Argon rider suffered on the KOM climb and was pulled back leaving five leaders.
They were joined on the penultimate lap by seven other riders including Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal), Fabio Felline (Trek Factory), Silvan Dillier (BMC), Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Romain Bardet (AG2R).
That group was also caught but Bardet and Alaphilippe kept attacking at the front of the bunch where defending road world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step) was also constantly well-placed.
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) decided to stretch their legs and tackled the last lap with a slim 15-second lead over the pack. Attempts multiplied in the finale with former winner Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) charging in the last climb before Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), twice a podium finisher here, tried to shake off the peloton in the last stretch, but Uran moved ahead under the red flame, never to be seen again.
The final sprint was then for second place only and the runner-up honors finally went to Malcolm Matthews (Orica-Greenedge) ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).
Canadian pride was salvaged by Roth, who snatched the KOM jersey thanks to his relentless activity in the break all day.
Following Britton was Alexander Cataford (Can) Canada in 127th and De Vos was 130th while fellow Canuck, Mike Woods, suffered an unfortunate crash that took him out of the running and he DNF’d.
“We had a very strong team at the start with Kwiatkowski or Alaphilippe and our plan was to get to the last kilometer and go from there. That’s what we did. It worked and I’m very happy. It was of course an advantage to have so may contenders in the team,” said Uran.
Full results here.