Posted by Editor on 08/26/15
The sixth edition of the Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes - the only two UCI WorldTour races in the Americas - feature a lineup teeming with favourites. Since the inception of these events, the quality of race organization and hospitality as well as the high calibre of the courses have made them eagerly awaited fixtures on the international calendar, appreciated by riders and observers from all over the world.
Over the years, wins by champions of the likes of Peter Sagan, Simon Gerrans, Philippe Gilbert, Rui Costa, Robert Gesink, Thomas Voeckler and Lars Petter Nordhaug have helped build the reputation of the GPs. Once again this year, the world's cycling élite will be in Canada, represented by the 17 UCI WorldTeams as well as the four wild-card entries invited by the organizers: Team Europcar, Bora-Argon 18, Drapac Pro Cycling and Team Canada.
This year, 168 riders will line up at the start, including the reigning Road World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski, a member of Etixx-Quick Step, an impressive team that includes Tom Boonen, Tony Martin and Rigoberto Uran (a Giro d'Italia podium finisher in 2013 and 2014). The GP organizers are also honoured by the presence of internationally renowned racers like Canada's Ryder Hesjedal (Team Cannondale-Garmin), winner of the 2012 Giro d'Italia; Robert Gesink (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo), who finished sixth in this year's Tour de France; Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), both former World Champions and winners of GPs here; Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), who won a stage at this year's Tour de France and has always done well in these Québec races; Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha), one of the most powerful riders in the pro peloton; promising British teens Simon and Adam Yates (Orica Greenedge); Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), who just won the Eneco Tour; Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky), winner of the Montréal GP in 2012; as well as French riders Romain Bardet, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale), Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), Thomas Voeckler, Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), Arthur Vichot (FDJ) and Warren Barguil (Team Giant-Alpecin).
In the mix with this high-calibre roster are Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), the only Québec-born cyclist riding with a UCI WorldTeam this season, and the Canadian National Team, represented by another local favourite, Guillaume Boivin. Both hope to play key roles.
"Our events are among the most exciting and attractive races of the season internationally," enthuses Marcel Leblanc, Vice-President, Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes. "With the renewed backing from the cities of Québec and Montréal, we trust that we will once again live up to the expectations of the world's greatest riders - especially given that the lineup for 2015 is one of the most homogenous we've had since the GPs were founded. Also this year, by organizing the Critérium National de Montréal, with high-level cyclists competing in both men's and women's races, we are completely fulfilling our role as a major player in the development of cycling in Canada."
The Teams and their leaders:
• Etixx-Quick Step (BEL): Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Tom Boonen (BEL), Rigoberto Uran (COL), Tony Martin (GER) and Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
• Team Sky (GBR): Lars Petter Norhaug (NOR)
• Movistar Team (ESP): Ion Izagirre (ESP) and Adriano Malori (ITA)
• Team Katusha (RUS): Alexander Kristoff (NOR)
• Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS): Michael Rogers (AUS) and Roman Kreuziger (CZE)
• Astana Pro Team (KAZ): Jakob Fuglsang (DAN)
• BMC Racing Team (USA): Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL)
• Orica GreenEDGE (AUS): Simon Yates (GBR), Adam Yates (GBR) and Christian Meier (CAN)
• AG2R La Mondiale (FRA): Romain Bardet (FRA), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA), Jan Bakelants (FRA) and Hugo Houle (CAN)
• Team Giant-Alpecin (GER): Warren Barguil (FRA) and Simon Geschke (GER)
• Lampre-Merida (ITA): Rui Costa (POR)
• Lotto Soudal (BEL): Tony Gallopin (FRA), Tim Wellens (BEL)
• Trek Factory Racing (USA): Bauke Mollema (NED)
• FDJ (FRA): Arthur Vichot (FRA) and Arnaud Demare (FRA)
• Team Cannondale-Garmin (USA): Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) and Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU)
• Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (NED): Robert Gesink (NED)
• IAM Cycling (USA): Matthias Brandle (AUT) and Matthias Frank (SUI)
• Team Europcar (FRA): Thomas Voeckler (FRA) and Bryan Coquard (FRA)
• Bora-Argon 18 (GER): Sam Bennett (IRL)
• Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS): William Clarke (AUS)
• Team Canada: Guillaume Boivin and Ryan Anderson
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