The breakaway at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal had four strong Canadian riders driving the gap out to an 11-minute advantage in Sunday’s 220 km one-day classic. Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally UHC), Ryan Anderson (Rally UHC), Nick Zukowsky (Team Canada) and Charles-Étienne Chrétien (Team Canada) were joined by Israeli champion Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy) in the Laurentian Classic escape. Zukowsky was able to hold on long enough to win the King of the Mountain Classification. Here are some of the impressive numbers from the day in Montreal.
Underlining the demands of riding in a WorldTour breakaway on a course with over 4,000 m of climbing Dal-Cin, who is listed at 6’5 on the Rally UHC website, averaged an astounding average power of 308 w for 5 hrs 9 min in his ride on Sunday as revealed by his ride posted on Strava. Dal-Cin wouldn’t finish the race but this effort outlines how hard the Montreal course really is considering that average includes the descents of Camillien-Houde and Polytechnique.
Dal-Cin’s peak effort came on the opening kilometre of Camillien-Houde on the first ascent when he produced a wooping 1,115 w in the opening minutes of the race during a 47 sec effort at an average of 751 w to escape the peloton and begin establishing the break’s advantage. In the first lap of the race, the break got a comfortable lead of over 4 min on the peloton. During the first lap of 18 the race would tackle, Dal-Cin averaged 347 w.
Chrétien and Zukowsky are lighter than Dal-Cin but still needed to produce huge efforts to stay out front in the breakaway. The young 20-year-old Chrétien, averaged 248 w over 5 hrs 25 min according to his Strava data in an effort to help Zukowsky win the KOM competition. Zukowsky, who finished the race and was the last rider standing from the break, averaged a very tough 253 w over 6 hrs 18 min according to Strava. It was a long day for the 21-year-old Canadian who will be moving from Floyd’s Pro Cycling to Rally UHC next year.
The breakaway riders consistently had a make big efforts on Camillien-Houde and the Côte de la Polytechnique, the two most substantial climbs on the course, during their time out front.
For the 14 ascents of Houde that Dal-Cin was in the breakaway, he averaged between 485 w and 364 w. Zukowsky did 410 w over 4 min 53 sec on his final ascent ahead of the peloton to seal the KOM classification after doing 435 w over 4 min 34 sec the lap before when he was still accompanied by Chrétien. The easiest ascent Zukowsky did all day was a 305 w effort on his last lap with every other ascent falling in between about 320 w and 370 w. Chrétien did similar though slightly lower power efforts thanks to his slighter build.
Hugo Houle was the second highest placed Canadian finishing in 28th and also posted his ride on Strava. For the whole race, he averaged 226 w though that numbered jumps to 263 w for the final four laps as he held an average speed of 40 km/h. Houle’s hardest ascent of Camillien-Houde was a 4 min 3 sec ascent at 428 w with five laps to go.
Back in the peloton, Michael Woods (EF Education First) launched a strong attack on the final ascent before grabbing 8th in the reduced bunch sprint though he hasn’t published his ride on Strava yet so we don’t know the power numbers behind that substantial dig.