The WorldTour peloton met in Canada today for the GP Québec. This race was the first of the two Canadian races in which Lotto Soudal takes part this year. The challenging course consisted of sixteen laps of 12.6 kilometres each in the streets of Québec city. Every lap featured four short but steep climbs and their succession made the race really difficult. Tosh Van der Sande was part of the day’s breakaway with Côté, Planckaert and Williams and the peloton let them build a maximum advantage of 9’20. Côté couldn’t quite match the pace of his fellow escapees and was consequently distanced with sixty-five kilometres to go. Williams was the next one to drop out of the front group, and finally Tosh Van der Sande also had to let Planckaert go when he felt cramps in his right leg. Planckaert stayed up front for a couple more minutes but was also reeled in with fifteen kilometres to go. Many riders tried to go clear in the finale, but without success. A relatively large group then headed towards the finish and Peter Sagan confirmed his status of favourite. The world champion crossed the line in first, ahead of Greg Van Avermaet and Michael Matthews. Both Tim Wellens and Tony Gallopin finished in the top ten, in respectively fifth and ninth position.

 Tosh Van der Sande: “ I went clear right after the start with three other riders and the collaboration was good until halfway through. I thought that our advantage had been stable for a while and I thought we could maybe do it, but I probably worked a little too hard. I tried to take the others into account and I sometimes waited, I certainly didn’t go full gas. I suddenly had inexplicable cramps in my right leg with 25 kilometers to go, but our advantage had dropped anyway. I think we made the race really hard and Tim and Tony’s fifth and ninth place aren’t bad results. I am satisfied with my race today.”

 Tim Wellens: “ It was a hard race and it was ideal for us that Tosh was in the breakaway, as we didn’t have to do anything. It was a strange race as well, as there were moments when there could have been attacks, but everyone knew that it would have been pointless so nobody even tried. Sean and Jasper brought me to the front in the finale, and Tony, Tiesj and I took part in the sprint. I had good legs, I had been feeling great throughout the day, and I could cross the line in fifth place. It wasn’t a regular sprint, as it went slightly uphill, but there was nothing else to do than sprint. I think that I can be happy with my fifth place today!”