Posted by Editoress on 05/31/23
Canada's only UCI elite men's road stage race, the Tour de Beauce, is finally returning this year on June 14th to 18th for its 35th edition after a three year hiatus due to the pandemic. The race has been a stepping stone in the careers of Canadian riders such as recent Giro star Derek Gee, Tour de France stage winner Hugo Houle, Svein Tuft, Guillaume Boivin, Christian Meier, Mike Woods, Pier-André Côté, Nickolas Zukowsky and James Piccoli.
Hugo Houle (left) 2nd overall in 2016
Svein Tuft, Overall Winner 2008
Three Canadian Beauce winners - Eric Wohlberg (1995), James Piccoli (2018), Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (1991). Czeslaw won the year James was born.
This year's race will cover 673 kilometres over five stages. There are some significant changes from past years, such as no time trial stage and new routes, however, the legendary Queen stage, finishing at the top of Mont Megantic returns, as does the Quebec City criterium stage and the final decisive circuit race in the host town of Saint-Georges, which often results in a GC upset.
A total of 14 teams from five countries will participate - nine from Canada, two from the USA, and one each from France, Germany and the Netherlands. Due to the three year break in the schedule, for many riders this will be their first ever visit to the Tour de Beauce.
"With the break caused by the pandemic, most athletes who will come to Beauce this year will be doing so for the first time," points out the Race Director, Francis Rancourt. "Covid-19 also got the better of a number of teams that simply no longer exist. Finally, the training habits of athletes have greatly evolved during confinement, with the new prevalence of virtual platforms, which considerably enhance the level of preparation of the riders. The combination of all these factors makes any prediction regarding the race very hazardous. It's a very exciting scenario."
Stage 1 Le Georgesville - presented by St-Georges GM: The first pedal strokes of the 2023 edition will take place on an absolutely new route. After a controlled start launched from the Espace Carpe Diem in Saint-Georges, the 143 km route will take cyclists along the magnificent Chaudière River towards the steep sector of Saint-Séverin, where three KoM sprints will be contested. The peloton will then return to the south of the region to finish with a final spectacular ascent on the eastern side of the valley, in the Notre-Dame-des-Pins area.
Stage 2 Saint-Odilon-de-Cranbourne - presented by Construction Gilbert Nolet: Also greatly renewed, this second stage, traditionally presented as a curtain raiser of the Tour in the Etchemins sector, will bring the riders to the north side of the Massif du Sud, a first since 2013. Just like the day before, climbers will be well served by this most rugged 169 km route, the start and finish of which will take place in the heart of the bucolic village of Saint-Odilon.
Stage 3 Desjardins - presented by Ubik: Queen stage of the Tour, this 169 km course will once again make athletes see stars, with the dreaded ascent of Mont-Mégantic, the highest Quebec paved road. The launch of this crazy ride will once again be given in the town center of the municipality of Lac-Mégantic.
James Piccoli winning Mont Megantic (2019)
Stage 4 Ville de Québec: Again this year, the old capital will be the scene of the now famous critérium crisscrossing the surroundings of the parliament hill on a 2 km circuit covered 35 times. An electrifying spectacle that promises to amaze the many spectators present.
Quebec City circuit
Stage 5 Ville de Saint-Georges - presented by Venture: Another signature stage of the Tour de Beauce, this closing urban circuit is another epic course that has acquired undeniable notoriety within the America Tour peloton. With the withdrawal of the individual time trial this year, it's a safe bet that nothing will be decided at the start of this last 122 km long stage, which promises to be hotly contested. While the route remains the same as in past years, the completely redesigned start/finish site moved to the edge of the Venture factory in the heart of the city center will offer a completely renewed experience for both cyclists and spectators.
Yoeleo Test Team
Project Echelon Racing
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