June 22/11 11:47 am - GP Quebec & Montreal Officially Launch 2011 Races
Posted by Editoress on 06/22/11
Serge Arsenault, President of the Grand Prix Cycliste Québec–Montréal (GPCQM), announced today that all partners have renewed their association with these prestige events for their second annual editions. He also unveiled the new lengths of the Québec City and Montréal courses, and confirmed that two Challenge Sprint races will be run this year.
"We are very pleased to announce that all of our partners from last year will be back with the Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes for the second editions. To us this is a clear sign of their confidence in all levels of our organization, and such concrete support favours the longevity of these major international sports gatherings on Québec soil," Arsenault said.
Sanctioned by the Canadian Cycling Association, and a key event of interest for the UCI in their globalization vision for road cycling, the Challenge Sprint Pro will feature ProTeam and Pro Continental racers on September 8th in Québec City. The one-kilometer event ending on the start/finish line of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec will feature explosive heats of four riders fighting for first place. The winners of each heat will qualify for the next round until the final. A Challenge Sprint Canada bringing together the best sprinters in the country will also be on the program.
The Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec takes place Friday, September 9th, and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal follows on Sunday, September 11th. At the riders' request, both events have been lengthened by one lap compared with last year, for a total of 16 and 17 times around the 12.6 kilometre and 12.1 kilometre courses in Québec City and Montréal respectively, bringing the total race distance to more than 200 kilometres in both cities (201.6 kilometres and 205.7 kilometres). The races now compare favourably with some of the major European criteriums on the UCI WorldTour circuit, and are considered as excellent preparation races for the UCI Road World Championships taking place later in September.
Twenty-two teams will line up at the start of the 2011 Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cycliste: 18 ProTeams and 4 Professional Continental teams. The ProTeam category comprises the top 18 teams in the UCI (International Cycling Union) year-end rankings. These teams are required to enter each of the 27 UCI WorldTour events on the annual race calendar. Note that for the 2011 season, the UCI has changed the name of its premier circuit from ProTour to WorldTour, and has incorporated the so-called historical stage races like the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia into the same calendar.
In addition to the 18 ProTeams, the organizers have invited four Pro Continental teams to compete as wild-card entries. This season, Team SpiderTech powered by C10, a squad managed by famed cyclist Steve Bauer, became the first Canadian-based Professional Continental team in history.
Team Europcar, formerly Bbox Bouygues Telecom, includes Thomas Voeckler, the winner of the 2010 Québec City Grand Prix Cycliste and current points leader on the circuit UCI Europe Tour, as well as a new arrival, Québecer David Veilleux. France's FDJ lost its ProTeam status this season, but continues to be a major force, and counts Québecer Dominique Rollin in its ranks. Cofidis, another French team, rounds out the wild-card list.