Knox lights up Grand Prix de Montreal
Quick-Step Floors extend the lead in the World Tour team classification.
A gutsy late attack of James Knox on Côte Camillien-Houde (1800 m, 8%), the longest climb of the 195.2km-long Grand Prix de Montreal – penultimate World Tour one day-race of the season – took many riders by surprise and helped the British neo-pro bolt away from the peloton before being joined by Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) close to the summit.
The newly-formed trio plunged down the descent and carved out a promising 15-second gap, only for the strung out bunch to regroup, push the pedal to the metal and start a furious chase which resulted in the attackers being caught with seven kilometers left, on Côte de Polytechnique.
With the status quo being maintained all the way to the bottom of Avenue du Parc, it was on this 560m climb that the winner emerged after a frantic sprint at the end of which Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) beat Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida). Despite animating the race and putting in quite the effort when he attacked and tried to hold off the peloton, James Knox still had enough to come across the line as our team's best finisher, in 23rd position.
With only a handful of events left on the World Tour calendar (which draws the curtain in six weeks' time, at the Tour of Guangxi), Quick-Step Floors has a commanding lead of more than 2000 points over the second-placed squad in the team standings and can become just the sixth outfit in history to win the classification.
Photo credit: ©Justin Setterfield/ Getty Images