Posted by Editoress on 03/12/19
Organizers of the Appalachian Classic have announced that it will not be held in 2019. The Appalachian Classic is known for awarding the winners (women and men) with their weight in maple syrup. Instead, they want to focus on their three Gran Fondo courses on August 24th, plus the new La Grinta gravel bike event to be held at the same time, as well as the the Quebec Criterium Championships (July 13th).
Organizers say that the purpose of this hiatus is to allow the organization to think properly about the future of a race for which the participation rate has remained stagnant over time.
"The decision to put the race on hold this year has been made for a long time," said Alexis Pinard, Co-Founder and President of the Appalachian Classic. "By talking with our volunteers, our partners and many collaborators, the board believes that we need to decide based on what our people on the ground tell us: the rapid growth of the organization, combined the addition of complementary events imposes a steady pace that we must consider and, above all, manage well. We are fortunate to have the support of an extraordinary population and generous and willing volunteers, who must remain our priority if we want to sustain the event."
The Appalachian Classic has attracted many of Canada's top pros over the years, including:
• Mike Woods (EF - Cannondale Drapac), pro / elite men's winner in 2015-16
• Antoine Duchesne (Groupama FDJ), pro / elite men's winner in 2017
• Nikolas Zukowsky (Silber Pro Racing), pro / elite men's winner in 2018
• Kirsti Lay (Rally Cycling), women's winner in 2017
• Simone Boilard (Desjardins Ford), women's winner in 2018
"We are not closing the door on a FQSC calendar race in our annual program," said Pinard. "We just want to think about the best way to promote this part of the competition and take the time to find answers to our questions. Is it too difficult for local riders? Is it a question of date? Are there any obstacles to riders outside Québec taking part? This is the kind of reflection that we want to have with the Quebec rider community, who by then will find in La Grinta a major challenge, in addition to the Quebec Criterium Championships."
At the recently held Montreal Bike Show, the Classic has unveiled some of the details of a mystery course, called "La Grinta", of which only the registration fee ($220) and the number of participants (maximum 220) were revealed. Announced on social media, the 220km course is more than 80% on dirt and includes 4,200m climbing. The course will be offered only once, on August 24, 2019, as part of the festivities surrounding the fifth anniversary of the Appalachian Classic.
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