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“GPCQM week has become an essential moment in the season for the WorldTeams who, year after year, go all out to provide us with unforgettable sporting exploits."

Photo: Patrick Beaudry




17.08.2016 @ 07:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes (GPCQM) are now well established as one-day classics on city circuits. The top riders on the planet have been making the trip across the Atlantic to tackle the pair of challenging courses in Quebec’s largest city as well as its capital since 2010. Seven successful editions later, Serge Arsenault and his team are proud of the global presence they have developed, and determined to continue presenting this now-traditional North American stop on the international road racing calendar. On September 9 and 11, 168 of the best cyclists on the WorldTour circuit will deliver a sports spectacle of the highest calibre.
The news from the peloton is that fans can expect the return of the defending GPCQM champions, Rigoberto Uran (CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM) and Tim Wellens (LOTTO SOUDAL), as well as a Tour de France stage winner Michael Matthews (ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE). Also set to compete are Québécois riders Antoine Duchesne (DIRECT ENERGIE) and Hugo Houle (AG2R LA MONDIALE) and, in what may be the final races of his career, Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal (TREK–SEGAFREDO).


The GPCQM will feature the 18 WorldTeams in addition to Team Canada (thanks to special dispensation requested from the UCI since the very first edition of the races) and two Professional Continental teams, Bora-Argon 18 (Germany) and Direct Energie (France).
“GPCQM week has become an essential moment in the season for the WorldTeams who, year after year, go all out to provide us with unforgettable sporting exploits,” says Marcel Leblanc, Executive Vice-President, GPCQM. “In a short time, we’ve grown our reputation on the world stage. The riders have always told us that they love coming to Québec for the quality of our courses, the thorough, attentive organization, the novelty of racing outside Europe, and the warm welcome from the public.”
Some riders’ impressions of the GPCQM:
SIMON GERRANS of ORICA-BikeExchange says: “Québec City and Montréal are fantastic races; they’re both challenging and spectacular, perfectly organized, and with huge, enthusiastic crowds. Both races have been important in my career. I have three wins and, most memorably, I managed the Québec City–Montréal double the same year, 2014. That was a dream week. Every time I ride these races, I’m just so pleased to be there and competing hard in these beautiful cities.” Gerrans also won the Québec City GP in 2012.
“The Québec City and Montréal GPs are my favourite races,” notes ANTOINE DUCHESNE of Direct Energie. “They are where I understood that I had the ambition to compete with the best cyclists in the world. I’m ecstatic about being entered in these events, and proud to have been one of the first Quebecers to ride the Tour de France.”
“The atmosphere you find at the GPCQM is very special when you come over from Europe and you have to travel long hours, arriving only a few days before the races. Because of that, you feel the tension rising until it's finally race day!” explains ROBERT GESINK of Team LottoNL-Jumbo. “My wins in Québec City and Montréal are two of the most special memories in my career,” he adds. “To win a one-day classic had always been a dream of mine, and it became a reality in Montréal in 2010. My second victory, in Québec City in 2013, was even more special because my family was there with me. The emotions were overwhelming; I was the happiest man in the world that day!”
For HUGO HOULE of AG2R La Mondiale, “The Québec City and Montréal GPs are kind of like the World Championships for riders from Québec. We’re happy to race here at home every year, in a UCI WorldTour event alongside the world’s élite cyclists. The guys in the pro peloton say that the GPCQM are among the best-organized races in the world. That’s a great source of pride for us, and an impetus to put in great performances.”



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