Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka did well to get in the mix in Sunday’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. The team’s riders attacked several times on the undulating course, which ultimately saw Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) sprinting to victory.
Early in the Canadian one-day race, two riders got away and quickly opened up a good gap on the peloton, which didn’t seem too troubled with the duo at the front. It wasn’t until the riders took on the last 65 km of the race, that the breakaway was caught and new attacks occurred at the front of the pack.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Natnael Berhane joined the first dangerous attacks. However, the peloton wasn’t interested in letting the strong Eritrean get away and with 40 km left to go, it all came back together again. The attacks continued at the front of the race with several riders trying to get away. After finishing in fifth place last year, Nathan Haas was eager to in the mix once again. The 28-year-old Australian was very attentive and made it into a couple of good moves.
Ultimately, as the riders took on the last lap of the race, a group of 15 riders got away. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka didn’t have a rider in the group so Steve Cummings quickly went to the front of the peloton trying to bring back the breakaway. The front group split up on the challenging course, leaving just six riders in the lead. However, despite a furious chase in the main group, the break made it all the way to the line. Ulissi won the uphill sprint, while Haas crossed the line in 18th place with the main favorites, 16 seconds down.
Oli Cookson – sports director:
”We played the game right with Nathan [Haas]. In the final, he followed the right moves but then he had to sit back and gamble for the sprint as we didn’t have the numbers at that point to bring it back. Unfortunately, the late break stayed away so we couldn’t sprint for the win. In general, we are disappointed because Nathan has really worked hard for these races”.