- It was too bad that Magnus Cort couldn’t start, due to illness the last days. This race suited him perfectly, but I think we did a great job of making the most out of it today. We showed our strength during the race, with the whole team closing the gap with the breakaway and Jakob Fuglsang going for an attack in the final. At the end, I was able to sprint for a top 10, which was all I could today. I think the whole team did a good job today, and I’m looking forward for the race on Sunday in Montreal, as it will be harder to control because of the challenging circuit. – Michael Valgren.
A day of sixteen laps on the city circuit of Québec, Canada, resulting in a total of more than 200 kilometer: A hard day for the riders. Already before the race it was clear that Magnus Cort couldn't start due to illness, so Astana Pro Team had to start with six riders. After a few kilometers of racing, a breakaway of five riders got clear from the peloton. They had a maximum advantage of around six minutes, before the peloton started to chase. Going in the final 5 laps, the Astana riders were leading the peloton, closing the gap and launching an attack of Jakob Fuglsang just before going in the final lap of the day.
But in the final lap, the peloton caught the small group of riders including Fuglsang, and after the final rider was caught in the final kilometer, it all came down to an uphill sprint to the finish line. In this sprint, it was the Australian rider Michael Matthews who took the victory just in front of Greg van Avermaet. Michael Valgren pulled off a strong effort, finishing ninth.
On Sunday, the riders will face the second Canadian race this weekend. In Montreal, the city circuit with multiple climbs will be harder than today’s race, which will be interesting for the riders who were feeling strong on the climbs today.
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto