February 25/10 8:40 am - Road Worlds Bid Planned for Quebec City Group
Posted by Editor on 02/25/10
Last week, an article appeared in the Quebec press about a possible bid for the Road World Championships in Quebec City, saying that the Gestev team that is organizing this year's Mountain Bike World Championships is putting the bid together.
We spoke with Gestev co-founder Patrice Drouin about the rumours, to find out what the facts were.
Let me tell you a short story about how we have gotten to this spot.
You remember when Hamilton got the [Road] Worlds? We were a bidder also at that time, and had started preparing for this in 1997. At the 1998 [Mountain Bike] Worlds [organized by Gestev at Mont Ste Anne], we organized a helicopter tour for [UCI President] Hein Verbruggen. We showed him our plan, and Mr Verbruggen liked the idea. So we 'put a good nail in the coffin' at that time.
When we were preparing the formal part of the bid, we got word that Hamilton was also talking to the CCA. So, there were two Canadian candidates for 2003. But Sheila Copps [then Minister of Heritage] put a major investment into the Hamilton bid, so there was no federal support for our bid.
We moved on after that, to looking at bringing the Tour [de France] to Quebec in 2008, for the 400th anniversary of Quebec. We wanted to do the Tour for three or four years, and brought them over to see what we could do. But as 2008 approached, the Tour said no to coming to another continent.
So immediately we went back to the world championships project, and made a small announcement last year locally that we would go for it. And so, a journalist followed up last week in Vancouver to ask if we were still pursuing this.
I said yes, we are still working on this project, and looking towards 2015. In the next few weeks we will speed up our planning on this project. For us, this would be a very big realization to accomplish, and we would be very proud to do it.
Drouin said that he expects that there will be a more formal announcement in April.