Cycling: with the Frenchman Benoît Cosnefroy, who has overcome a very difficult Quebec doctor

Cycling: with the Frenchman Benoît Cosnefroy, who has overcome a very difficult Quebec doctor

Starting in the final heat, Frenchman Benoît Cosnefroy struck a big blow on Friday by winning the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec alone. “It was planned, I wanted to attack with this problem”, enjoyed Norman. “It’s amazing, I don’t know what’s happening to me, it’s very difficult to win here”, emphasized the AG2R-Citroën team’s boxer who pulled away with a huge victory and became the second Frenchman to win. put here, after Thomas. Voeckler in 2010.

Facing a field of five stars, including Tadej Pogacar in particular, he won alone, four seconds ahead of Australia’s Michael Matthews, winner of the last two editions in 2018 and 2019, Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay and Belgian Wout van Aert, the favourite. .

This bodes well for two weeks before the road race of the World Championships, on September 25 in Wollongong (Australia), even if Cosnefroy, 26, hinted this summer that he would not be at the Worlds. A chance to be considered again when he made a strong impression in the very tense final of the Quebec race, marked by many attacks, including that of David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ).

Having reserved himself throughout the race, Cosnefroy called his time out from the peloton 2.2 kilometers from the finish. “To be honest, it was planned in advance. I wanted to attack in this difficulty, it worked,” he said. Chased by Christophe Laporte, Van Aert’s teammate, he refused to return to the pack, even allowing himself the luxury of being able to enjoy his heroics when crossing the finish line , after 201.6 kilometers of racing and 16 laps of the circuit traveling at incredible speed. .

“The last kilometer was a kilometer of suffering, but I was able to take advantage in the last 50 meters”, commented Cosnefroy, who won his 13th professional victory, the first of the year. “This changes the course of my season, from an average season, it becomes an exceptional season, a victory in the World Tour is very difficult to get,” he said.

He will be able to target twice on Sunday during the Montreal GP which, like the one in Quebec, returns to the cycling calendar after two editions were canceled due to Covid. Especially since it will be on a course that suits him best, as he explained with a greedy smile. “But we’ll have a good beer tonight first to celebrate,” he added.