Posted by Editor on 05/27/09
The 24th Tour de Beauce is planning to welcome 18 teams, made up of more than 130 riders, to the starting line on June 9th. The organizers anticipate that the calibre will be a notch higher than last year, with a consistently strong peloton made up of several teams able to win the race.
Canada is once again well represented with three teams, including the UCI Continental team Planet Energy. Planet Energy, under the leadership of Steve Bauer will have as captain the Quebecois rider François Parisien, as well as other talented riders. The Quebec Provincial Team will also be one to watch, with a selection of some of the best climbers in cycling. Completing the Canadian delegation will be Garneau-Club Chaussures.
The United States will represented by a strong delegation: Team Type 1 will be directed by Canadian Gord Fraser and led on the road by Valery Kobzarenko, the 2006 winner of the Tour de Beauce. Others include the Pro Continental BMC team, Kelly Benefit Strategies with David Veilleux and the Continental Development teams of Trek-LIVESTRONG, Holowesko Partners/Felt, Garmin U23, and DLP Racing.
Other foreign teams include the returning German Sparkasse team and Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk from England. Added to them are the Continental teams Azad University from Iran, Australia's Ride Sport and Fly V (which includes Charles Dionne from Quebec and Ben Day, the winner in 2007), Colombia es Pasion Cafe from Colombia, the Latvian and Eritrean National teams, as well as the English squad KUK-Kinesis.
Organizers of the Tour de Beauce return this year with a tested formula for some courses. However, riders will find a few modifications along the way, notably with the addition of the Thetford Mines stage.
The debut of the 24th Edition will take place on the proven Lac-Etchemin stage, a 165 kilometre warm up, which heads north in the region of Bellechasse. Wednesday (June 10th) the organizers are introducing something new with the arrival of the Thetford Mines stage. Riders should look forward to quite a challenge in the first half of this 161 kilometre stage, that highlights the lakes and mountains of the towns surrounding Thetford Mines.
Next, the competitors will have to face the monster climb of Mont Megantic during the third stage on Thursday, June 11th, starting in St-Georges and culminating at an observatory perched on top of the highest paved road in Quebec. It is likely that the first to reach the top of Mont Megantic will also be leading the overall standings at the close of the 2009 Tour de Beauce!
As in the past, Friday, June 12th will be an important day for the cyclists, starting in the morning with a 20 kilometre individual time trial over the same course to be used later in the summer for the Canadian Championships. In the evening, the local 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 kilometre course.
The weekend will have Quebec City welcoming the next-to-last stage, starting at noon on Saturday, June 13th, near the Parc de la Francophonie, on Grande-Allée. A 13.9 kilometre downtown loop, covered nine times, will take the cyclists on the descent of the Sillery hillside 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 24th Edition by pedaling the final stage to the applause of the Beauce fans, during the traditional 11 kilometre circuit in downtown St-Georges. It will be at the end of the 12th lap that the 2009 winner will be crowned.
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