Top 10 for Petr Vakoč in Quebec
Quick-Step Floors have strengthened the grip on the World Tour standings after the Czech's seventh place in Canada.
An atypical edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec (201.6 kilometers) unfolded on Friday, when 20 teams and 160 riders lined out for the 33rd stop of the World Tour season. Four men got into the break on the first lap of the race and managed to put about ten minutes between them and the bunch, who started chasing hard only inside the last 80 kilometers, when the escapees began to suffer and lose time on Côte de la Montagne, Côte de la Potasse, Montée de la Fabrique and Montée du Fort, the four climbs on the menu.
The catch was made with 12 kilometers to go, but the pre-race favourites decided to keep their powder dry for the last hill, instead of trying to go earlier, as it happened at the previous editions. A few late accelerations by several riders, including Jack Bauer and Gianluca Brambilla, were quickly nullified and the race came down to a bunch sprint, from which Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) emerged victorious, beating Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) in the process.
Petr Vakoč positioned himself perfectly in the run-in to the line and opened his sprint from afar after closing down an attack of Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), finishing seventh; this was the 25-year-old Czech's best placing in three participations here and at the same time a result that helps our squad extend the lead at the top of the World Tour classification, with only a handful of events left on the calendar.
"With the break building such a big gap, the second half of the race was very fast and nobody really felt like attacking, they were just hanging on, waiting for the sprint. I too was waiting for the final, my goal was to be up there in the last kilometer. When Uran went, I followed along, thinking it was the right time, but suddenly I found myself alone in the front and decided to go for the long sprint. Unfortunately, it proved to be too far out today", said Petr Vakoč right after the finish.
The Czech – who will continue to sport the colors of Quick-Step Floors also next season, his fifth with our team – continued: "On the other hand, looking at the guys who came on the podium, I don't think my chances would have been much better had I waited until the end of the race. Good thing is the legs are there and I'm going to Montreal with even more confidence."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele