Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, sprinting from the field in the final 100 meters to defeat Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano).
Gerrans overcame a late-race crash, and relied on a powerful team effort to win the race for his second time.
The Australian champion put in a huge turn of speed, bringing back a gap of five bike lengths to overtake Dumoulin.
“This race was a real goal. … I knew I had form, and the course was good for me,” said Gerrans. “Winning here a second time, it’s of course special. Without my team, I wouldn’t have had a chance.
“Tom [Dumoulin] started the sprint very early. I hesitated to follow, I waited, but not too long because I knew he is very strong, and I knew I should not let him get too far ahead. This is very encouraging ahead of world championships. I am on form.”
Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) took third behind Dumoulin.
With 20 kilometers to go, it looked like Gerrans’ day might have ended prematurely.
“With a mechanical problem with just over 20km to go I actually thought my day was over,” he said. “I had to go back and change my bike, but fortunately our team car was right up there in the convoy so I didn’t lose a lot of ground, and the bunch slowed ever so slightly when I was trying to come back which gave me the chance to come back pretty quickly.”
The final 10 kilometers offered numerous punchy hills.
Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) led the race into the finale, followed closely by world champion Rui Costa (Movistar). Greg van Avermaet (BMC) was sitting comfortably in the front group alongside Gerrans.
The attacks came rapid-fire with Belkin and Omega Pharma-Quick Step sending riders off the front on the Cote de la Potasse
Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol) made the next move at the crest of the climb.
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) chased out of the front group, bringing along Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
Right after the one kilometer mark, van Garderen caught Vanendert.
Van Garderen led the charge up the final rise, the field loomed behind with Orica-GreenEdge driving the pace.
Trentin then made his move with 600 meters to go as van Garderen cracked; the American would finish 40th, at 39 seconds down.
Dumoulin jumped clear from the field, overtaking Trentin, but he went too soon.
“I know that it was early to go at 300 meters, but I had my teammate Simon Gesche on my wheel,” said Dumoulin. “So if I failed, he could benefit. When I saw Simon Gerrans coming from behind, I knew it was finished, but I don’t regret it. I had a good race, and the result is good.”
Gerrans overhauled the fading Giant-Shimano rider in the final hundred meters to win.
“It was a pretty quick run in to the sprint,” Gerrans said. “There was a little group off the front, which Pieter Weening and Michael Albasini dragged back.
“I was staying with Daryl [Impey] who was going to lead me out, but with 300m to go when Tom Dumoulin opened his sprint up I had to make the decision to also start my sprint early otherwise I didn’t think we were going to catch him.
“I started sprinting with about 250m to go, uphill and into a hea wind, so I went from a really long way out, managed to squeeze through a gap about 200m to go and rounded Tom up in the final few meters.”