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Matthews wins Quebec GP with last-ditch sprint

Michael Matthews overcame bad positioning in the finale sprint to win the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec.

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Michael Matthews timed his sprint to perfection to win Friday’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec.

The Australian launched out of a diminished peloton and surged past leaders Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) in the meters just before the finish.

The four riders had built a small advantage on the group after attacking up the final series of climbs to the line. But all four hesitated in the final push to the finish, allowing the group to catch them just before the line.

“I was really kicking myself in the final that I wasn’t with the best guys going over the climbs,” Matthews (Team Sunweb) said after the finish. “I’m just lucky that these guys looked at each other in the final straight, and I was able to have a shot at them in the sprint.”

The victory marked Matthews’s second-consecutive win at the Canadian one-day race, which spins a hilly circuit through downtown Quebec City.

The thrilling finish came at the end of the 200-kilometer route which spun 16 laps of a 12.6-kilometer circuit around the old section of Quebec City. The traditional route includes three punishing climbs, arranged in a stair-step manner: the Cote de la Montagne, the Cote de la Potasse, and the Montee de la Fabrique.

Six riders broke away early, and to no surprise the early move contained North American riders: Canadian National Team members Evan Burtnik and Adam Roberge and American Gavin Mannion (Rally-UHC) joined Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy), Luis Mas (Movistar), and Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo). The group had five minutes at one point, until pace making from Team Sunweb and CCC brought the group back.

Mannion was the final breakaway rider to be swept up; the pack surged past him on the penultimate lap to set up the traditional battle on the final ascent.

Alaphilippe appeared to be in the best position, with Deceuninck-Quick Step teammate Dries Devenyns surging on the front on the final climb. Alaphilippe then put in a softening attack that drew out Sagan, van Avermaet, Colbrelli, and Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott).

With four pre-race favorites in the move, the race appeared to set for a four-way battle between Sagan, Alaphilippe, Colbrelli, and van Avermaet. Then, within sight of the finish line, the four riders stalled and looked at each other. Behind, a surging Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) led the group up to Colbrelli’s wheel, and which point Matthews made his move.

In his post interview, Matthews chided himself for not making the selection alongside Sagan, van Avermaet, and Alaphilippe.

“I made a big mistake at the bottom of the climb. I wasn’t in a good spot,” Matthews said. “When the big favorites went I wasn’t in a position to go with them. I’m angry with myself about that.

“But they came back and I was able to have good legs for the sprint. It’s a win but also a big mistake in the final.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec Results

1MATTHEWS MichaelTeam Sunweb5:13:01
2SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe0:00
4ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates0:00
5STUYVEN JasperTrek - Segafredo0:00
6SLAGTER Tom-JelteTeam Dimension Data0:00
7ALAPHILIPPE JulianDeceuninck - Quick Step0:00
8ROOSEN TimoTeam Jumbo-Visma0:00
9WELLENS TimLotto Soudal0:00
10COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R La Mondiale0:00
11IMPEY DarylMitchelton-Scott0:00
12BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education First0:00
13SBARAGLI KristianIsrael Cycling Academy0:00
14MOLLEMA BaukeTrek - Segafredo0:00
15HOULE HugoAstana Pro Team0:00
16PRADES EduardMovistar Team0:00
17WOODS MichaelEF Education First0:00
18VANENDERT JelleLotto Soudal0:00
19VALGREN MichaelTeam Dimension Data0:00
20NAESEN OliverAG2R La Mondiale0:00
21YATES AdamMitchelton-Scott0:00
22PICCOLI JamesCanada0:00
23FRANK MathiasAG2R La Mondiale0:00
24MADOUAS ValentinGroupama - FDJ0:00
25VILLELLA DavideAstana Pro Team0:00
26SÜTTERLIN JashaMovistar Team0:00
27ASGREEN KasperDeceuninck - Quick Step0:00
28HAIG JackMitchelton-Scott0:00
29GESCHKE SimonCCC Team0:00
30MOLARD RudyGroupama - FDJ0:00
31BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates0:00
32ZEITS AndreyAstana Pro Team0:00
33PETERS NansAG2R La Mondiale0:00
34BETANCUR CarlosMovistar Team0:00
35MCCARTHY JayBORA - hansgrohe0:00
36MOHORIČ MatejBahrain Merida0:00
37COLBRELLI SonnyBahrain Merida0:00
38HALLER MarcoTeam Katusha Alpecin0:10
39HAAS NathanTeam Katusha Alpecin0:14
40VANMARCKE SepEF Education First0:21
41COSTA RuiUAE-Team Emirates0:21
42ROUX AnthonyGroupama - FDJ0:30
43DEWULF StanLotto Soudal0:32
44BOOKWALTER BrentMitchelton-Scott0:37
45DE VOS AdamRally UHC Cycling0:37
46OLIVEIRA RuiUAE-Team Emirates0:37
47ROSSKOPF JoeyCCC Team0:37
48GENIETS KevinGroupama - FDJ0:37
49BROWN NathanEF Education First0:37
50GASPAROTTO EnricoTeam Dimension Data0:37
51CATAFORD AlexanderIsrael Cycling Academy0:37
52LE GAC OlivierGroupama - FDJ0:49
53HOWES AlexEF Education First0:56
54HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichDeceuninck - Quick Step0:56
55NEILANDS KristsIsrael Cycling Academy0:56
56CASTRILLO JaimeMovistar Team0:56
57MARTENS PaulTeam Jumbo-Visma0:56
58FERNÁNDEZ RubénMovistar Team0:56
59BAKELANTS JanTeam Sunweb0:56
60PAUWELS SergeCCC Team0:56
61ŠPILAK SimonTeam Katusha Alpecin0:56
62HIRSCHI MarcTeam Sunweb1:05
63PHILIPSEN JasperUAE-Team Emirates1:11
64BILBAO PelloAstana Pro Team1:26
65HAMILTON LucasMitchelton-Scott1:26
66LAWLESS ChrisTeam INEOS1:26
67JENSEN AugustIsrael Cycling Academy1:26
68ZUKOWSKY NickolasCanada1:47
69NIBALI VincenzoBahrain Merida1:54
70BALLERINI DavideAstana Pro Team1:54
71MAS EnricDeceuninck - Quick Step1:54
72CASTROVIEJO JonathanTeam INEOS1:54
73GARCÍA CORTINA IvánBahrain Merida1:54
74GERVAIS LaurentCanada1:54
75OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe1:54
76ROELANDTS JürgenMovistar Team1:54
77CARUSO DamianoBahrain Merida1:54
78GREGAARD JonasAstana Pro Team1:54
79BRITTON RobRally UHC Cycling1:54
80WHELAN JamesEF Education First1:54
81DUCHESNE AntoineGroupama - FDJ1:54
82WIŚNIOWSKI ŁukaszCCC Team1:54
83SCHÄR MichaelCCC Team1:54
84PORTE RichieTrek - Segafredo1:54
85GIBBONS RyanTeam Dimension Data1:54
86ANDERSON RyanRally UHC Cycling1:54
87PARET-PEINTRE AurélienAG2R La Mondiale1:54
88MONFORT MaximeLotto Soudal1:54
89BENEDETTI CesareBORA - hansgrohe1:54
90MAES NikolasLotto Soudal1:54
91TOLHOEK AntwanTeam Jumbo-Visma1:54
92HINDLEY JaiTeam Sunweb1:54
93EARLE NathanIsrael Cycling Academy1:54
94NAESEN LawrenceLotto Soudal1:54
95MARTIN DanUAE-Team Emirates1:54
96VINGEGAARD JonasTeam Jumbo-Visma1:54
97THOMAS GeraintTeam INEOS1:54
98DE PLUS LaurensTeam Jumbo-Visma1:54
99EVENEPOEL RemcoDeceuninck - Quick Step1:54
100JUUL-JENSEN ChristopherMitchelton-Scott1:54
101DEVENYNS DriesDeceuninck - Quick Step2:18
102STANNARD RobertMitchelton-Scott2:30
103KNEES ChristianTeam INEOS2:33
104KONRAD PatrickBORA - hansgrohe2:33
105GOGL MichaelTrek - Segafredo2:33
106ELLSAY NigelRally UHC Cycling2:33
107SKUJIŅŠ TomsTrek - Segafredo2:53
108POLANC JanUAE-Team Emirates3:08
109SERRY PieterDeceuninck - Quick Step3:08
110JANSE VAN RENSBURG ReinardtTeam Dimension Data3:34
111HOLLENSTEIN RetoTeam Katusha Alpecin3:39
112CORT MagnusAstana Pro Team4:07
113LEEZER TomTeam Jumbo-Visma4:42
114VAN DEN BERG JuliusEF Education First4:54
115CHEYNE JordanCanada5:21
116CHRÉTIEN Charles-ÉtienneCanada5:21
117BURGHARDT MarcusBORA - hansgrohe5:23
118BASSO LeonardoTeam INEOS7:22
119KWIATKOWSKI MichałTeam INEOS10:44
120HALVORSEN KristofferTeam INEOS10:44
121VERVAEKE LouisTeam Sunweb10:44
122DUVAL JulienAG2R La Mondiale10:44
123CONCI NicolaTrek - Segafredo10:44
124MANNION GavinRally UHC Cycling10:44
125BURTNIK EvanCanada11:02
126SAGIV GuyIsrael Cycling Academy11:02
127DAL-CIN MatteoRally UHC Cycling11:02
128GONÇALVES JoséTeam Katusha Alpecin11:02

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.