Mikkel Honoré came close to a podium finish at the Canadian race.
Comprising sixteen climbs and over 2500 vertical meters, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec returned on the World Tour calendar for the first time since 2019, and our team played an important role from the moment the flag was waved and the peloton left the neutral zone. Neo-pro Stan Van Tricht, who showcased his qualities in a number of races since joining Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the beginning of the season, initiated the day’s break, where he was joined by four other riders.
The quintet worked well together and established a four-minute gap which forced the bunch to put in a lot of work in order to reduce the buffer coming into the last laps of the race. When the escapees were brought back with 30 kilometers to go, a strong and numerous groups consisting many of the favourites formed, and the Wolfpack was represented there by Andrea Bagioli and Mauro Schmid.
Despite having the firepower, this move was too reeled in, but the attacks kept pouring, and Mikkel Honoré went all-out part of a four-man move that for a few kilometers had high hopes of holding off the chasers, who were trailing by more than ten seconds. But the last hill played into the favours of the bunch, and the catch was made two kilometers from the line. In the end, Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroen) took the win after a late attack which Andrea initially tried to close, before Mikkel – who still had something left after his previous effort – got a solid top ten, finishing sixth.
“We had Stan Van Tricht in the break from the start and he rode a very strong race today until 35 kilometers from the finish, then Mauro took over and tried something before the last lap, with Mikkel Honoré also being there. Then we had an acceleration of Cosnefroy in the final lap. Just behind Andrea chased with Laporte, but the gap couldn’t be closed as the Frenchman didn’t want to work with Andrea. In the final kilometer, Mikkel went and came close to ending up on the podium, only to be caught and passed by four guys within sight of the line”, said sports director Wilfried Peeters. “Overall, we are content with the way we raced and hopefully we will have the same display on Sunday, where the longer climbs in Montreal could suit also James and Mauri.”
Photo credit: ©Dario Belingheri / Getty Images