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Lars Petter Nordhaug wins 2012 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal

MONTRÉAL (VN) — Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky) won the third edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on Sunday.

The 28-year-old former Norwegian champion crossed two seconds ahead of Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha), who finished second and third, respectively.

“That was incredible,” said Nordhaug. “I was riding for Edvald (Boasson Hagen) originally because we thought it was going to come down to a sprint. I just tried to sit on the front to cover the counter attacks, but felt so strong in those last 4km that I just rolled off alone.”

Indeed, many expected Boasson Hagen to shine in the 201.6km race, run on a 12.6km circuit, but it was his Sky teammate and compatriot Nordhaug who surged to victory in the finale as the favorites marked each other. He split the bunch with a strong move inside the final 10km, then leapt away with 4km to go.

A three-man group containing Moser, Kolobnev and Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) fought back up to Nordhaug, but he kicked once more in the final 150 meters and took the victory by several bike lengths.

“When I saw those three guys were coming I waited a bit and then joined them. I didn’t think I would take the sprint because the other guys in that group were very fast, but I just had unbelievable legs today, so to win was fantastic,” said Nordhaug.

“I only realized I’d won inside the last 30m. I’m really pleased because I’ve taken some big steps this year and had two victories already. To win this race though is the biggest thing I’ve ever done.

“As a team, we’re having an unbelievable season and it’s good to have been a part of that success. Winning the Tour de France gave us all motivation and everybody’s been riding well all year long.”

Australia’s Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), who won Friday’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, crossed fourth with Boasson-Hagen fifth.

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from Montréal.

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