Emma Pooley, of the Cervélo TestTeam, did something that is very rarely seen at a World Cup Event. She attacked in the first 400 meters of the climb of the first lap and went off to claim victory riding solo in the wind for the next 110 kilometers at the 12th edition of the Montréal World Cup.
At that point only three riders, Eva Lutz (Nürnberger), Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/Sutter Home) and Katheryn Curi Mattis (Webcor), gave chase as the rest of the field was content to let the rider go so early in the 11 laps around the 10 km circuit. The second time around, the chasers were down to two as Lutz sat up and the gap started to build lap after lap on the very rough Montréal roads.
On the fifth lap, the peloton woke up and broke apart under the pressure put by the Nürnberger duo of Amber Neben and Trixi Worrack. In the next two laps, the speed went up, the two chasers up the road were gobbled up leaving around thirteen riders in the lead group now committed to chasing the lone rider who ahad managed to get a maximum of 4 minutes gap. The Columbia-High Road and Nürnberger riders manned the front of the reduced field which also included two riders from the Cervélo team. A final attack up the 3km climb up Mont Royal on the penultimate lap by Mara Abbott (Columbia-High Road) and Neben reduced the numbers to nine in the group but Pooley, who won the silver medal at the TT in the Beijing Olympic Games, was still motoring alone at the front.
Finally, after over three hours of riding solo, Pooley raised her arms for victory at the finish line. Emma Johansson (Swedish National Team) won the sprint for second place over Trixie Worrack (Nürnberger).
“I attacked after only 400 m”, an elated and exhausted Pooley said. “A win like this is only possible if you know that you have super strong team mates behind you. And our team did again an incredible job, with Regina and Carla in the group behind me. It gave me a lot of confidence.
“I believed in my victory only in the last corner with 200 m to go. I felt so tired during the last lap, so you never know. But I made it and I am so happy with this!”
Johansson is now the new leader after six races in the 10-event World Cup series. Montreal is the only road cycling World Cup event to take place on the American continent.