Norwegian Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Sky) took an unexpected victory in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal on Sunday, coming around late attackers Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) to take the win.
Nordhaug somehow found the legs to contest the sprint finish having just a few kilometres earlier gone on a solo attack whilst working for fellow Norwegian team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen. However, in the finale Nordhaug found himself well ahead of Boasson Hagen, who was in the chasing group, and contested the finish for himself.
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Boasson Hagen finished fifth, which bodes well for Noway’s chances at the upcoming World Championships road race run off on a similarly undulating circuit. Friday’s GP de Quebec winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) was once again in the mix, placing fourth.
Britain’s two representatives in the race – Sky’s Alex Dowsett and Geraint Thomas – were among a sizeable group of non-finishers.
“That was incredible,” Nordhaug said after the race. “I was riding for Edvald originally because we thought it was going to come down to a sprint. I just tried to sit on the front to cover the counter attacks, but felt so strong in those last 4km that I just rolled off alone.
“When I saw those three guys were coming I waited a bit and then joined them. I didn’t think I would take the sprint because the other guys in that group were very fast, but I just had unbelievable legs today, so to win was fantastic.”
Nordhaug moves from Sky to Rabobank next season.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal 2012, 205.7km
1. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky in 5-28-29
2. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 2 secs
3. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team at same time
4. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 4 secs
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky
6. Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
7. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar
9. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Radioshack-Nissan at same time