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"It was hard to find a gap. I had to stop once from pedaling and it was hard to come back. I did a good sprint, but I was a little bit too far back." 

Photo: Sirotti








13.09.2014 @ 13:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Greg Van Avermaet went into the Grand Prix Quebec as one of the big favourites. However, the Belgian was too far back in the sprint and despite gaining ground in the finale, he had to settle for fifth.


BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet finished fifth Friday at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec as Simon Gerrans (ORICA-GreenEDGE) won for the second time in three years. Van Avermaet, second (in 2012) and third (in 2013) here the past two years, said he was not well positioned in the final few hundred meters as nearly two dozen riders contested the sprint.


"It was hard to find a gap," Van Avermaet said. "I had to stop once from pedaling and it was hard to come back. I did a good sprint, but I was a little bit too far back."


Gerrans, the Australian national road champion, charged past Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Shimano) in the final 50 meters while Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) was third and Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE) fourth.

Leading into the long, uphill finish of the 199.1-kilometer race that comprised 11 laps of an 18.1 km circuit, BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen closed the gap with Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) to Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol), who had attacked on one of the shorter climbs. The trio enjoyed a small gap heading into the final kilometer.


"I was really just trying to keep the group together for Greg," van Garderen said. "I didn't realize we were away. At the end, I was just trying to keep the pace high so the group wouldn't get shuffled. It was more a leadout mentality than an attack."


Van Garderen's trio was overtaken with 500 meters to go.

BMC Racing Team's Brent Bookwalter was also part of a breakaway that formed with two laps to go. Originally an 11-strong group that enjoyed a 30-second lead, four others bridged across on the final lap before the group was brought back with seven kilometers to go.


"I felt really good relative to the other guys in that 11-man group, so I was working hard but trying not to show myself too much," Bookwalter said. "It was unfortunate that other guys came across, because often when the group gets that big and teams have more than one rider, it gets a little incohesive."

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said up until that point, things had gone according to plan. Peter Stetina was the BMC Racing Team's strongman, riding the front for hours and sharing pacemaking duties with ORICA-GreenEDGE's Christian Meier to keep a four-man breakaway in check.


"Stetina did an awesome job and really saved all of our other guys," Stewart said. "I thought at one point we would have to put a couple guys in the chase. But with the help of him and Orica, they really controlled nearly the whole race."



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