Matthew Holmes conquers Willunga Hill
Holmes ahead of Richie Porte
With the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec on Friday 13 September and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on Sunday 15 September, two one-day WorldTour races in Canada are scheduled this weekend. Tim Wellens was already successful in Montréal and is again part of the contenders for the victory this year. Sports director Herman Frison confirms.
Herman Frison: “In both Québec and Montréal, the course consists of local laps. Québec has a very tough finish, which ends with one-kilometre stretch of false flat. In the final three to four kilometres, the peloton could split, but often, a considerable group sprints for victory. The rider who still has the most energy left in the tank at the end of the race will win because it is a course that suits strong finishers.”
“In my opinion, Montréal is a little harder. Immediately after the start, there is a long climb, followed by another one mid-race. Afterwards, it goes towards the finish, where the riders are presented with another hill. The two races in Canada are really beautiful and if the weather is nice, there will most likely be a big group that sprints for the win. If the weather conditions would be bad, I fear that the whole bunch will be stretched out.”
“But I have to admit that bad weather conditions could maybe play into our hands. Tim Wellens already won in Montréal in wet conditions. Also this year, he is the clear leader and the other Lotto Soudal riders will mainly ride at the service of Tim, which means they will protect him or they will join a breakaway. We like to make it a hard race, so it may well be that we will ride very aggressively.”
“I haven’t looked at the list of participants yet, so I don’t know exactly who will be at the start, but riders like Matthews, Vanmarcke, Oliver Naesen and Wellens will have a good chance. The better punchers will battle for victory in Canada.”
“This diptych in Canada sure is important because they are WorldTour level. You need to be at the start with a clear goal in mind, something we have with Tim Wellens. In addition, Monfort, Vanendert and Dewulf are excellent riders to join a breakaway, if necessary.”
Adam Hansen suffered a foot injury, so Lotto Soudal will be at the start with six riders.
Line-up Lotto Soudal GP Québec: Stan Dewulf, Nikolas Maes, Maxime Monfort, Lawrence Naesen, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Line-up Lotto Soudal GP Montréal: Stan Dewulf, Nikolas Maes, Maxime Monfort, Lawrence Naesen, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Sports director: Herman Frison.