Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec 2022

After a few years, the races are now back. Starting off with a circuit-race in Quebec, we see the same route as usual. We have 16 laps and a total of 201.6 km and close to 3000 altitude meters.

The lap starts and stops and Le Grand Allée Est. The riders head down for a tour around the park, before a short visit on the main road again. Then, they head south towards Boulevard Champlain and on the way there, there is a sharp right hand turn. Now, riding towards the city on the big road, they get to the first of the steep inclines, Côte de la Montagne. From there, it is either up or down till the finish line, a 1 km of 4.4% that normally sees 20 – 30 riders sprint for the victory.

Côte de la Montagne

It comes right after a corner, meaning the pace will be higher and higher to get the best position possible at the foot. 200m at 12.8% is what makes it so deadly. The road surface is questionable, but the road is very wide meaning it is possible for a lot to get to the front. I think that is one of the main reasons the race is decided between 20 – 30 riders.

Uphill finish.

1 km at 4%. It doesn’t look like much, but everyone is on their limit when they start the sprint. It has looked chaotic in the past, and will likely be so tomorrow. Looking back at the previous winners from the last five editions, it suits the likes of Sagan in his prime at Matthews.


Sunny, but not boiling hot and almost no wind.

How will the race unfold?

It was about time I brought back the xPless model. I think it is essential you look at the five strongest teams in a one-day race to see, how they would like the race to unfold in the favor to find the most likely scenario.

UAE have the numbers, but I am not sure if QP Quebec has the altitude meters for big splits. And even so, Pogacar should on paper not be able to attack and hold off everyone else with the amount of flat between the Côte de la Montagne ascents. Despite them having numbers, I doubt they will get a smaller group sprint.

TJV bring both Laporte and Wout van Aert. It is really hard to look past them. Both in terms of a sprint from a small group with Laporte potentially play co-leader, or Laporte leading out Wout van Aert.

I think Quick-Step have a very strong team, but I think the team stands a better chance in Montreal on Sunday. I’m mostly looking forward to Honoré, he seems to have turned things around this year. It could be a big weekend for him.

Then we head to Bahrain-Victorious. Their best chance is Mohoric sprinting. It does look like they have a team made of climbers, and I think their role will be limited later today.

EF is the last team. Three very good options for tomorrow and they want an attacking race. Magnus Cort is the obvious pick for a bunch sprint, while Powless and Bettiol follow or set up moves.

Therefore, a mix of people wanting a sprint (BEX, Intermarché, TJV and TotalEnergies) and a few teams looking to make sure it doesn’t happen. I will go for the typical 20-30 riders sprinting. Perhaps less this year.


Wout van Aert – it just looks like one of the best courses for him. It is too hard for the pure sprinters and too easy for the climbers to get rid of him. He will start as the favorite today and rightfully so. With Laporte at his side, he is likely to get a strong lead out at the finale run-in where everything normally is a bit chaotic.

Matthews – he has won here the last two times. He is always on form when racing in Canada. With Worlds on homesoil just around the corner, I think we will see the strongest version of Matthews. In a sprint, it is difficult to see him beating a couple of the riders I mention, but everyone will be on their limits and he is good at waiting for the others to commit mistakes.

Girmay – let’s see what he can do in his final third of the season. The results are already ticking in, and this is a good course for him. We saw in the Giro d’Italia that he is too slow to fight it out with pure sprinters, but he is quick enough after a difficult race to compete for the win. I think he will land close to the podium.

Pogacar – he normally comes out a bit slower in the last third of a season. I do not expect him to win tomorrow at all, but I do wonder if he will try and animate the race to an extent. I could see him attack and go all out, using it as training for Sunday and Worlds. Only few can follow him on Côte de la Montagne, if he goes all out.

Stuyven – got a good result in Tour of Denmark. He is the type of rider than always ends the season on a high note. He was 5th here in 2018 and 3rd here in 2017. He got the sprint going for him, but it would be a big surprise see him win.

Cort – after a Giro d’Italia and almost a whole Tour, I’m wondering how much energy he has spent. Nonetheless, the low amount of altitude meters and his fast sprint makes him the best option for EF tomorrow.

Mohoric – he had an awful Tour de France and hasn’t races since San Sebastian over a month ago. I would assume he is flying right now, despite having no knowledge regarding his form. He is quick on the line, but it would be more optimal to see him sprint drom a small group.

Greg van Avermaet – he is always consistent at this race. A top-10.

Aranburu – he is enjoying some good form, but I find it impossible to see him sprinting in a group without WvA, Matthews or Girmay, making it very difficult for him to win.

Sagan – he has won here three times in the past. I doubt it will be a fourth for him. It suits his skills set and I expect him to finish in the top-10.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wout van Aert

⭐⭐⭐ Girmay, Matthews.

⭐⭐ Aranburu, Stuyven, Pogacar

⭐ Cort, Mohoric, Sagan, Van Avermaet

Who will win?

I can’t see a scenario where WvA doesn’t sprint from the first group. He will hope Laporte has continued his great form and can lead him out.

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