Posted by Editoress on 09/10/17
Italian Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) took the first one-day WorldTour win of his career on Sunday, winning the eighth edition of the GP Cycliste de Montreal ahead of Spain's Jesus Herrada and Dutchman Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Drapac). Antoine Duchesne of Team Canada was the top Canadian rider, finishing 42nd in a chase group that also included Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy).
The race, which featured 17 laps of the classic Mont Royal circuit through the center of Montreal, saw two Canadian riders attack from the gun. Canadian road champion Matteo Dal-Cin (Team Canada) and Benjamin Perry (Israel Cycling Academy) quickly opened a two minute gap, which fluctuated to as much as five and a half minutes over the next seven laps before an attack from the peloton by world champion and GP Cycliste de Quebec winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) caused a surge which brought the duo back after 120 kilometres. Both Duchesne and Boivin were involved in subsequent attacks, but each was neutralized, with no Canadians making the final break of six.
Perry and Dal-Cin
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) took the first one-day WorldTour win of his career
A 16-man group broke clear in the last lap and included Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), Jesus Herrada (Movistar Team), Jan Bakelants (AG2R), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Ulissi and Slagter. These six broke clear of the race of the front group on the last ascent of Camillien-Houde and were left to battle it out for final victory. Better renowned for his six stage victories in the Giro d'Italia, the UAE Team Emirates leader led the successful move in the final lap to upset the pre-race favorites and sprint for his best victory to date in a one-day race.
"I had been looking for a victory in a one-day classic for a long time," said Diego Ulissi, "and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal was the perfect one for me, as I finished third last year. In the finale when we saw that the favorites like Greg Van Avermaet or Peter Sagan were not there in the leading group I started to believe in my chances. I knew I was probably the fastest in this group but you never know. I want to thank my team-mates like Conti and Marcato who did a great job to help me. I haven't talked to [Italian selector] Davide Cassani about the world championships but if he had questions my answer was this."
Antoine Duchesne of Team Canada was the top Canadian rider
In addition to Duchesne's 42nd, Boivin was 51st, and Team Canada riders Jack Burke and Bruno Langlois were 90th and 97th, respectively.
Team Canada manager Kevin field commented, "I'm really happy with the collaboration in the field today and with the way the guys rode. I think Antoine and Guillaume did a great job at the front. It was definitely one of the harder Montréal races I've seen, but overall it was a great preparation for our Under-23 men before Road Worlds next week."
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