Team Sunweb's Michael Matthews Repeats With Victory at GP Cycliste de Montréal
Following Friday's win in Québec, Team Sunweb's Michael Matthews (AUS) has taken his second one-day WorldTour victory in three days at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
Michael finished off another strong display of teamwork to secure his, and the team's, clean sweep of the Canadian WorldTour races.
Matthews said after the finish: "Wow! What can I say, I really have no words. I just can't thank the team enough for believing in me though out this really hard year, and again the boys today were amazing. It wouldn't have been possible without such a strong team around me, so I can't thank them enough."
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen (NED) added: "Michael mentioned already that this victory is for the whole team. Everyone was working really hard to go for the double here in Canada and the hard work paid off. Two WorldTour victories in three days, unbelievable."
The challenging one-day race commenced and winded up on the Avenue du Parc in the centre of Montreal. The riders had to complete 16 laps of a 12.2km-long circuit, which took them up 4528m of elevation. At the beginning of each lap stood the hardest ascent of the race, the 1800m-long Côte Camillien-Houde. This climb contained two hairpin bends and an average gradient of 8 per cent. 4km later came the second ascent, the Côte de Polytechnique (780m, 6%). A subsequent short and steep descent with a number of technical turns then made way for a relatively flat 1.5km-long section. The third climb of the day, that of the Boulevard du Mont-Royal (400m, 2.4%) awaited the riders around 3km before the end of each lap. 500m ahead of the finish line, after taking on a sharp turn, the riders entered a 4 per cent steep section on the Avenue du Parc that led all the way up to the finish line.
Michael Mathews (Team Sunweb) showed again his impressive sprint skills for another victory in Canada over Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) in the last metres. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) finished third. Sonny Colbrelli looked to have safe victory with 150 metres to go, but Mathews took had a bit more strength to takeover the victory for half of the bike length.
Several riders attacked right from the start in Montreal, and it took around 15km until the break of the day was formed. The five escapees had notched up an advantage of 3:30 after 30km in the saddle, a lead that stretched out to a maximum of 5:30 throughout the day. The peloton was in no great hurry to reel in the leaders and so the race situation remained constant for quite some time. In the second half of proceedings, the gap of the escapees slowly began to reduce due to the tempo that was set by the teams of the favourites, with one of the leading quintet also falling back into the main field.
On the third lap the peloton, which at that point was being led by Lotto Soudal and Sunweb, reenergised the chase after the breakaway, and the gap to the leading quartet reduced relatively quickly. With 35km remaining in the race, several riders launched an attack from the peloton, and two were able to bridge the gap to the escapees, but the entire group eventually split up a few kilometres later.
After that, a trio, including Gregor Mühlberger, was able to distance itself from the peloton and establish themselves at the head of the race. Despite an impressive effort by the Austrian BORA – hansgrohe rider, the trio was caught several kilometres later.
The race came down to a sprint from a reduced peloton, which was won by M. Matthews.
VIDEO: Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal Highlights
Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 5:19:27
2 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
4 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
5 Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
6 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team
9 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
11 Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
12 Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
13 Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
14 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
15 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
16 Brandon Mcnulty (USA) Rally Cycling
17 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
18 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
19 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Cycling Academy
20 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott