Peter Sagan seals fine solo victory at the GP de Montreal
Last Updated: September 16, 2013 11:54am
Peter Sagan celebrates his victory at the GP de Montreal
Peter Sagan timed his late attack to perfection to claim a hard-fought solo win at the GP de Montreal.
The Cannondale rider was active throughout an explosive five hours of action in Canada which saw countless riders try their hand off the front of the bunch, and made the move that counted 5.2km from home.
The Slovakian latched onto Ryder Hesjedal's wheel when the home favourite edged off the front of the bunch and then left everyone for dead as he navigated the final lap of the city centre circuit before celebrating his 22nd victory of the season in characteristically exuberant style.
Simone Ponzi (Astana) and Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) had mounted the most determined chase, but the duo had to settle for second and third places respectively - four and five second behind.
Largely the same peloton that had ridden the GP de Quebec on Friday lined up again in Montreal to contest the 17 laps of an undulating 12.1km circuit, and it was Team Sky who took control once an early seven-man break had made it up the road.
Danny Pate, Joe Dombrowski and Gabriel Rasch all took long turns on the front to ensure the septet's lead never stretched over five minutes, and were still at the head of affairs when a crash 50km from home sent Chris Froome, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and Richie Porte tumbling.
Geraint Thomas rode hard to ensure an unaffected Froome made safely back into the safety of the bunch, but Tiernan-Locke and Porte were forced to abandon after bearing the brunt of the fall.
With the break swept up shortly after, it was Sagan, Froome, and the other main players came to the fore and began attacking each other incessantly.
Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), Robert Gesink (Belkin) and Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), had all produced determined digs in a hotly-contested passage of riding before Sagan made the move that stuck 5.2km from home.