Twenty-year old Matt Cronshaw (Rapha-Condor) outsmarted and outsprinted his breakmates to win the St-Georges Criterium held this evening after the morning time trial. Cronshaw went away early in the 40km race with Raymond Kreder (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) and two riders of the Fly V Australia team, local favorite Charles Dionne and Australian Crit Champion Bernie Sulzberger. All eyes were on Dionne, but Cronshaw played it cool, took the last corner in fourth wheel and came around everyone to claim the prize. A very disappointed Dionne finished second, and young Kreder was third.
This makes two stage wins for the British team Rapha-Condor who also won stage 2 in a long break that barely made it to the finish.
“Even though the race didn’t count for general classification, we wanted to race it like a proper stage because it’s always hard no matter what you do so you might as well race it properly. Our intention was to race it as hard as possible, make sure that any breakaway that had more than four riders would have two of our riders in it, so it wasn’t perfect when Matthew got away with three riders and there was two Fly V with the Australian Champion. I must admit I was a little bit apprehensive for him. Then again, he’s a young rider and I would have been happy with a podium place to be honest. A win is absolutely brilliant. ” said John Herety, DS of the Rapha-Condor team.
“I was last wheel, I wanted to keep an eye on things, no one jumped out of the bend, it was slow with 200 meters to go and then, the Garmin guy went, I jumped around him for the win. ” said 20-year old Cronshaw.
“I was thinking that one of the Fly V guys would attack but the don’t try to do that. In the last corner, I try but the Rapha Condor guy was too fast for me, and the other guy also. I started with 300 meters to go but it was too hard to win. ” explained Kreder.
Due to UCI regulations, the outcome of the crit did not count for the overall classification, but to make sure that the riders showed up and raced, a timecut of 5% was set, which basically meant two laps. Any rider that would be lapped twice would be out of the race. Most of the field, including the yellow jersey Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefit) settled in and played it safe to keep the powder dry for the next two stages. Team Type 1′s Chris Jones, who sits in fourth place on GC, suffered a mechanical, switched bikes and was lapped by the field once which brought his whole squad to the front of the peloton to make sure that he wasn’t lapped a second time.
“When they did that, I just wanted to stay up front in case something bad… our goal was just to expand as little energy as possible.” explained Zwizanski about moving to the front when the Team Type 1 squad stepped on the gas.
No changes on GC. Zwizanski is still in the lead with the two riders from the Colombian National Team, Sergio Luis Henao and Darwin Atapuma at 1:03 and 1:15 down. Jones made it safely in and sits in 4th spot at 1:59 down followed by his teammate Darren Lill at 2:34. Henao leads the best young rider classification and Zwizanski also leads the points classification.
Just the facts. With the stage not counting of GC, many riders took it easy but not all. Attacks started in the first laps, and a group of nine riders was off on the fifth lap which included duos from Rapha-Condor, Fly V Australia and the Colombian National Team.
“First, there were two riders in the front and I was going with the Colombian guys, we were eight or something, Rapha Condor with Fly V attacked and Chann told me that I needed to go, I was closing the gap with another Fly V guy, so we were four.” said Kreder.
Moves were made and in the end, a group of four was off, Dionne and his team mate Bernie Sulzberger, the current Australian Criterium Champion, Cronshaw and Kreber.
“It was pretty early, we were just covering the moves early on. It was a bit daunting with the two Fly V guys there but they just stayed together which was in my favor for the sprint. ” said Cronshaw about being against two riders from the same team in a 4-man break.
A few riders tried to bridge from the field but never made it across and after a while, the peloton settled back in, just making sure to stay safe and save energy for the final two hard circuit races.
The cooperation between the four men was under discussion. “Because they have two riders, and I’m alone and the other guy was alone, so I was talking with the other guy that we need to work with each other.” said Kreder.
The break came close to lapping the field, but once Jones had his mecanical problem and for some reason not given a free lap, his team made sure that the field would not get lapped.
The four men stayed together in the final lap with Sulzberger leading into the final corner, Dionne on his wheel than Kreder and Cronshaw watching from behind.
Saturday brings the tough circuit race in Quebec City. Starting at noon, the riders will race 9 times around a 13.9-km downtown loop which takes the riders on the descent of the Sillery hillside and along the river before attacking the “Côte de la Montagne” Street. Expect the Colombian Team, Team Type 1 and Fly V Australia to try and dislodge Zwizanski from the top.
Prior to the crit, a Directeur Sportif crit was raced on the same course. Birthday boy Steve Bauer (Planet Energy), Mike Sayers (BMC), Henk Vogels (Fly V Australia), Mattieu Toulouse (Equipe Quebec), Dominique Perras (Canadian National Team), Jonas Carney (Kelly Benefit), Axel Merckx (Trek-Livestrong), Chann McRae (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin), Gord Fraser (Team Type 1) and Arvis Piziks (Latvian National Team) did 3 laps in front of an appreciative crowd that included their riders. In the end McRae crossed the line first. His prize? bragging rights.
Complete results here
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