Posted by Editor on 05/30/07
Tour de Beauce Announces New Courses & Teams for 2007 Edition
Organizers of the Tour de Beauce return this year with a tested formula for some courses, plus a few modifications along the way, notably with the return of the difficult route used in 2005's Quebec stage.
The debut of the 22nd Edition (Tuesday, June 12th) will take place on a revamped course for the Lac-Etchemin stage, a 180-km warm up, which heads north in the region of Bellechasse.
Wednesday, the organizers are introducing something new with the arrival of the Vallée-Jonction stage. This 170-kilometre course, considered difficult, will waltz along both sides of the Chaudiere valley, through towns such as St-Sylvestre, Saint-Séverin, Saints-Anges, Frampton and Sainte-Marguerite.
Next, the competitors will have to face the monster climb of Mont Megantic during the 3rd stage on Thursday, June 14th, starting in St. Georges and culminating at an observatory perched on top of the highest paved road in Quebec. It's a good bet that some will see stars at the end of this 153-km escapade.
As in the past, Friday will be an important day for the cyclists, starting in the morning with a 20-km individual time trial over the same course to be used later on in the summer for the Tim Horton's Canadian Championships. In the evening, the whole population is again invited to the Criterium, which will be held in the downtown area of St-Georges. Starting at 6:30 pm, the riders will travel 40 laps on the 1.5-km course.
The weekend fare will be basically the same as last year, with Quebec City welcoming the next-to-last stage, starting at noon on Saturday near the Parc de la Francophonie, on Grande-Allée. A 13.9-km downtown loop, covered 9 times, will guide the cyclists on the descent of "Côte de l'Église" Street and along the river before attacking the "Côte de la Montagne" Street.
After giving quite a show to the Quebec City crowds, the competitors will wind up the 22nd Edition by pedaling their last to the applause of the Beauce fans during the traditional 11-km circuit in downtown Saint-Georges. It will be at the end of the 12th lap that the winner will be crowned.
The organizers of the Tour de Beauce are expecting 19 teams, 140 cyclists in all, at the starting line for its 22nd Edition.
The organizers are satisfied with the teams selected and anticipate that the calibre will be a notch higher than last year, while presenting a consistently strong pack made up of several teams able to win the race.
Canada is once again well-represented with 10 teams, including 4 UCI Continental teams. The Symmetrics team will be back with Svein Tuft, 2nd in 2005's overall ranking. The Quebec Team will be one to watch this year with, among others, Charles Dionne, Dominique Perras, David Veilleux and Martin Gilbert. Other returning teams will be Volkswagen Trek, Garneau-Crocs and Calyon-Litespeed, as well as the Ontarian team Ital Pasta. It will be the first showing in the Beauce for the teams of Vallée de l'aluminium, La-Z-Boy, Team R.A.C.E. (managed by Steve Bauer) and Spin 12.
Not to be outdone, the United States will be represented by three teams: the Pro Continental teams Navigators Insurance with 2006's winner Valery Kobzarenko, Slipstream presented by Chipotle with the Canadian François Parisien, and as well the continental Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. having the fit Dominique Rollin as one of its members.
Among the foreign teams, German Sparkasse will be one to watch closely with Stefan Parinussa who wore the yellow jersey in 2006, and the 2006 German road race champion Dirk Müller. Australian Saving and Loans will be making their first appearance in North America. Two teams returning from last year are the Mexican continental Tecos, and Colombias es pasion from Colombia. Rounding out the field are Amore & Vita-McDonald's from Poland as well as Denmark's Team Farso Cycling.
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