CYCLING: Sprint finishes in Quebec give titles to Matthews and van Avermaet

Australia's Michael Matthews, winner of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec

The annual Grand Prix Cycliste road races in Quebec City and Montreal are a treat for the sprinters and wild charges to the finish were the keys to both races this year, especially for Australian Michael Matthews and Belgium’s Greg van Avermaet.

Matthews out-dueled three-time World Champion Peter Sagan on Friday in Quebec. Sagan attacked with 1,000 m to go, but couldn’t shake France’s Julian Alaphilippe. Behind both of them, the peloton was coming on and Belgian Tim Wellens sprinted for the front, with Alaphilippe, Sagan and Olympic champ van Avermaet all chasing,

But Australia’s Matthews had the most legs left and ran out on the right side, passing everyone and getting to the line first. Sagan held on for second against van Avermaet. It was the second straight Quebec win for Matthews.

On Sunday, it was van Avermaet’s turn to get to the line first, in Montreal. This time, it was against Italy’s Diego Ulissi (the 2017 winner) as van Avermaet won his second Montreal race, previously in 2016.

It was van Avermaet’s third win of the year, but first in a World Tour race.

In Spain, the two-day Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta was decided in the opening race, a 9.3 km Time Trial won by Germany’s Lisa Brennauer by four seconds over Dutch star Lucinda Brand and nine seconds over Dane Pernille Mathiesen.

That proved to be enough as the second-day race ended on a mass sprint, leaving the first-day standings intact.

Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec
Quebec City (CAN) ~ 13 September 2019
(Full results here)

Final Standings (201.6 km): 1. Michael Matthews (AUS), 5:13:01; 2. Peter Sagan (SVK), 5:13:01; 3. Greg van Avermaet (BEL), 5:13:01; 4. Diego Ulissi (ITA), 5:13:01; 5. Jasper Stuyven (BEL), 5:13:01.

Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal
Montreal (CAN) ~ 15 September 2019
(Full results here)

Final Standings (219.6 km): 1. Van Avermaet (BEL), 6:09:38; 2. Ulissi (ITA), 6:09:38; 3. Ivan Garcia Cortina (ESP), 6:09:38; 4. Tim Wellens (BEL), 6:09:38; 5. Michael Valgren (DEN), 6:09:38.

UCI Women’s World Tour/Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta
Madrid (ESP) ~ 14-15 September 2019
(Full results here)

Final Standings: 1. Lisa Brennauer (GER), 2:33:06; 2. Lucinda Brand (NED), +0:10; 2. Pernille Mathiesen (DEN), +0:28; 4. Christine Majerus (LUX), +0:35; 5. Eugenia Bujak (SLO), +0:36.

Stage 1 (9.3 km Indiv. Time Trial): 1. Brennauer (GER), 12:52; 2. Brand (GER), 12:56; 3. Mathiesen (DEN), 13:05. Stage 2 (98.6 km): 1. Chloe Hosking (AUS), 2:20:31; 2. Letizia Paternoster (ITA), 2:20:31; 3. Roxane Fournier (FRA), 2:20:31.