Cosnefroy Wins Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec
26-year-old Benoit Cosnefroy today won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec 2022 in Canada for his AG2R-Citroën team. The Frenchman delivered a powerful attack in the final two kilometers and crossed the finish line in impressive solo fashion, four seconds ahead of a furiously chasing group that had not managed to reel him in before the final.
Team Bike Exchange-Jayco’s Michael Matthews finished second and Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) was third in the 201.6-kilometer race contested on a hilly circuit in Quebec City, partially along the St Lawrence River.
The victory was no small feat for Cosnefroy who nearly took the victory in this year’s Amstel Gold Race classic and who beat major sprint aces like Matthews, Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Ivan Garcia Cortina (Movistar Team) in today’s race.
"It's incredible. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I had planned to attack exactly where I did. If that hadn't worked out, we had Greg Van Avermaet to do the sprint. I am very happy because I did not necessarily expect to stay away in the last two kilometers. I gave it my all and was able to enjoy the last fifty meters,” a thrilled race winner explained to Roadcycling.com.
“What has been an average season for me is starting to become an exceptional season. With six second places, including the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Brabançonne, I was just waiting for this victory and it comes in one of the most beautiful races on the calendar, it's huge.”
It was a bittersweet second place for runner-up Michael Matthews, who won the sprint of the bunch that was tailing the solo winner but did not manage to close the gap to Cosnefroy before the finish.
"I'm probably disappointed at the moment, being so close to winning here three years in a row. It was my goal, and I came up second best, but it's still a great result,” Matthews told Roadcycling.com after the finish.
“I guess everyone was probably looking at Wout (van Aert) to chase, as he was probably the favorite here today, and I believe he had a rider in the group with Cosnefroy, so it was a little bit a case of everyone playing a bit of poker. Unfortunately, in the end we were sprinting for second, because Cosnefroy was just too strong.”
“I think my shape is really coming along well towards the 2022 Cycling World Championships in Australia now, so I’ll hopefully go for the victory again in my final race before heading off to Australia," Matthews added.
2022 Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec results:
1. Benoit Cosnefroy (France) Team AG2R-Citroën, 04:46:56
2. Michael Matthews (Australia) Team BikeExchange-Jayco +00:04
3. Biniam Girmay (Eritrea) Team Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux +00:04
4. Wout Van Aert (Belgium) Team Jumbo-Visma +00:04
5. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spain) Movistar Team +00:04
6. Mikkel Honore (Denmark) QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl Team +00:04
7. Adam Yates (Great Britain) Ineos-Grenadiers +00:04
8. Alberto Bettiol (Italy) Team EF Education-EasyPost +00:04