The first and – at least as of yet – only rider to ever win both the GP Québec and GP Montréal in the same year is in Canada again this season, but pre-race buzz around Simon Gerrans was decidedly quieter this year than in the past. As the 37-year-old Australian told Cyclingnews before the start in Quebec City, “as much as I’ve put a big emphasis on this, it’s going to be more for a support role.”

Teamamate Michael Albasini was Orica-Scott’s best finisher in the GP Québec after a late move by Roman Kreuziger was reeled in.

Left off the Orica-Scott Tour de France squad and noting that his preparation didn’t have him in quite the same shape as in past years of starring in the late-season contests, Gerrans didn’t bring the same expectations for his own result to Canada. Now a year and a half removed from his last pro victory, Gerrans has spent plenty of time as a team leader in hilly Classics across the calendar, but he says he has no qualms putting in work for his Orica-Scott squadmates.

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“I’ve spent more of my career in a support role than as a leader, so it’s not something that I’m new to. It’s a role that I quite enjoy doing,” Gerrrans said. “It’s a role that I take the opportunity to do to return the favour to any of my teammates that have helped me out.”

That willingness to acknowledge the realities of his current form extends beyond his approach to races on the WorldTour calendar.

When the Australian national squad for the Bergen World Championships was announced this week with Sunweb’s Michael Matthews as team leader, Gerrans’ name was not among the selection, making 2017 the second straight year Australia will leave Gerrans out of their Worlds line-up.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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