Van Avermaet Claims Spectacular Victory in Montreal11. September 2016, Montreal (CAN) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet went one better at the GP Cycliste de Montreal by sprinting to the win after a hard-fought battle at the one-day classic, two days after his second place in Quebec.
Van Avermaet outmanoeuvred and outsprinted Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) after the race unfolded in a similar fashion to Quebec, with an early breakaway of six riders going clear on the first lap.
The peloton allowed the breakaway to maintain a gap of six minutes until the race reached the 40km to go mark and the chase heated up. A large group with Damiano Caruso and Manuel Senni formed, before the race came back together and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) launched a solo attack.
Van Avermaet, in only his second race after being crowned Olympic champion, was part of a small chase group of a high calibre that eventually pulled Costa back just under the flame rouge, with the peloton closing in behind them.
Van Avermaet launched his sprint around 250m before the line and was strong enough to hold off the rest of the field to take his first win at the Canadian classics, and his fourth UCI WorldTour individual victory of the season.
The Winner’s Interview with Greg Van Avermaet:
Another win for you this season. How do you feel?
“It was really hard. To win like that in a sprint against Peter Sagan is really good for me. I’m really happy with my season and my form as I’ve been able to win a lot of races. To finally win here in Quebec and Montreal is really nice after so many times on the podium. I’ll definitely be coming back to these races,”
Second in Quebec, first today in Montreal, what was different for you?
“Not that much I don’t think. I was close in Quebec and Sagan was stronger than me there, and today the sprint went perfectly after a really hard last lap. I’ve come here several times and a few times I was on the podium but finally I made it to the first spot so it’s good for me. First and second, I cannot expect more from these two races.”
It’s been an exceptional year for you. All of these races where you have been second and third you are now winning. What are your thoughts?
“I always said that I could do more and finally this year it has happened. I was always a good rider but not winning that much and this year everything has come together and I have won some big races. I’m finally there where I want to be.”
How did the final lap play out?
“In the group with Sagan and myself we had to work together, with Alaphilippe and Vakoc, and we went full gas to bring Costa back in the final kilometer. Everyone in that group was really strong but I was able to do my own sprint at the right moment and cross the line first.”
Yvon Ledanois, Sports Director:
“During the meeting this morning before the race we went through more or less the same plan that we had for the race in Quebec on Friday. I wanted to see a strong team around our leader Greg Van Avermaet with a good team spirit. I asked a lot from the riders and today what I saw was amazing with this victory. It’s not just a victory for Greg, it’s a victory for everybody, staff and riders. They proved today that when they give 300% for their leader anything is possible. I’m very happy with the team today.”
“At 500m I was shouting to Greg ‘You can do it Greg!’ and to see a sprint like that was incredible. At 300m to go he was in front and he held on. The quality of riders here was very high and with riders like Peter Sagan you never know, but today Sagan or any other rider was not the best, Greg Van Avermaet was the best.”
GP Cycliste de Montreal
Montreal > Montreal (205.7km)
Top 3: 1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), 2. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), 3. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 1. Greg Van Avermaet, 31. Damiano Caruso, 46. Michael Schär