Posted by Editoress on 03/12/11
For the second year in a row, the Grand Prix Cycliste races in Quebec City and Montreal will welcome the 18 top teams in the world on the second weekend in September. In exactly six months' time, the 18 ProTeams of the International Cycling Union (UCI) and four Professional Continental teams invited by the race organizers will have completed the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and will be starting the Montreal race. The Quebec City competition will take place on Friday, September 9th, and the Montreal one on Sunday, September 11th.
Peloton crosses the start/finish in Quebec City in 2010
In 2011, the UCI ProTour label no longer exists, having been replaced by WorldTour. This is more than just a name change, as the general operation of the tour has been changed, as well. As far as the races are concerned, the WorldTour name unifies the international calendar once again. From now on, the cycling season will be more coherently organized, with a single calendar combining ProTour and long-standing, "historic" races. The Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal are now part of a circuit that includes such legendary pro cycling races as the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix.
Peloton climbs on Cote de la Montagne in 2010
In addition to the 18 UCI ProTeams, which are the top UCI category, the Grand Prix Cycliste races in Quebec City and Montreal have chosen to invite four Professional Continental teams. This season, SpiderTech powered by C10, the team of the renowned Steve Bauer, has become the first Canadian Professional Continental team ever. Among its riders are several talented Quebeckers, including Guillaume Boivin, Kevin Lacombe, Martin Gilbert and David Boily, and of course the powerful racers Svein Tuft, Zach Bell and Will Routley. Team Europcar, formally Bbox Bouygues Telecom, includes the 2010 winner of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and current leader of the UCI Europe Tour, Thomas Voeckler, and a new member from Quebec, David Veilleux. FDJ lost its ProTeam status this season, but is continuing to progress with Quebecker Dominique Rollin in its squad. The Cofidis team rounds out the list.
Podium in Montreal: Sagan, Gesink, Hesjedal
Building on the first event, the organization will be making a few improvements in 2011. "Given last year's experience and the fact that the riders have said they would like the distance to be closer to that of the great classic races, this year's competitions in Quebec and Montreal will be over 200 kilometres long. The pack will ride one more lap, and will have the daunting hills of Côte de la Montagne in Quebec City and Camilien Houde Road in Montreal to contend with. Both races promise to be really exciting, and whoever wins will be a worthy champion!" says Charly Mottet, the organization's sports manager. There will be an improved version of the Challenge Sprint on Thursday, September 8th, on the streets of the Old Capital.
Here is the list of teams that will be taking part in the 2011 Grand Prix Cycliste races in Quebec City and Montreal:
AG2R La Mondiale
BMC Racing Team
HTC - Highroad
Lampre - ISD
Pro Team Astana
Quickstep Cycling Team
Rabobank Cycling Team
Saxo Bank Sungard
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
Professional Continental Teams
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