• Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) celebrates his victory at the 2019 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal 2019 (Getty)
Canada's weekend of one-day WorldTour races delivered another thriller with Greg Van Avermaet this time producing the goods but all the big stars set to shine at the road worlds in a fortnight showed off their form over the 220km and 4000 metres of climbing in Montreal.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
CCC Team
16 Sep - 12:05 PM  UPDATED 16 Sep - 1:10 PM

Matthews defeats worlds rivals at Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec
Australian Michael Matthews' took back-to-back victories at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, crossing the line ahead of Peter Sagan, Greg van Avermaet, and Julian Alaphilippe, all likely rivals at the UCI Road World Championships at the end of this month.

As the bell rang for the final lap, Van Avermaet made it into a move of around 20 riders where attacks sparked alight from the likes of Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick Step). 

But the race came back together before the final hairpin turn, the Belgian timing his move on the final kick to the line to perfection, coming round Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain Merida) for victory. 

Van Avermaet finished Canada's weekend of one-day WorldTour races with today's win and his third-place on Friday's Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and looks well-placed ahead of the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.   

"It’s been a year of top 10 places and podiums but never really a big win in a WorldTour race so I’m super happy to finally get it," he said. 

"I knew it would be a close call to stay away or to bring Alaphilippe back. Everything went well in the end. I tried to bridge to Wellens on the last climb, but it was all stretched out with small gaps and luckily everything came back. I knew the finish was good for me and I know that after a hard race like this I still have a good sprint in the end.

"I think (the worlds is) a good course for me and I’m happy with my shape, that’s the most important. We will see how the race goes and what plan we have with the Belgian team.”

A quick glimpse at the top 20 of today's race reveals a cache of riders all capable of winning the men's road race in two weeks including Wellens, Alaphilippe, Michael Woods, Peter Sagan, and encouragingly for Australia, Jack Haig and Friday's Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec winner Michael Matthews. 

Cycling Australia makes last-minute changes to World's squad
Injury and illness have forced Mitchelton-Scott pair Grace Brown and Sarah Roy out of the Australia team for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships which will be held in Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Australia team announced for road world championships
Australia has announced the squad for the world championships road race and time trials to be held in Yorkshire during September.

Absent from this weekend's races was Mathieu van der Poel who put on his own show in a dominant display at the Tour of Britain, winning three stages and the overall title.

If the big teams can't shake the Dutchman by the final circuits in Yorkshire, it is hard to see him not winning the sprint finale, no matter how many or who is in the bunch. 


 

The 2019 UCI Road World Championships features eleven races over eight days in the junior (U19), under 23 and elite categories.

The road races promise to push the world’s best to the limit with a punishing 285km contest for the men and 150km for the women, with both races to culminate with laps of a technical circuit around Harrogate.

SBS will stream selected events from the 22-29 September UCI Road World Championships on SBS OnDemand and the website with live TV coverage of the women's and men's road races scheduled for SBS Viceland.