May 29/08 10:15 am - 2008 Tour de Beauce : New Courses and 22 Teams
Posted by Editoress on 05/29/08
Tour de Beauce
Courtesy Communication Tour de Beauce
Organizers of the Tour de Beauce are back this year with several course changes; apart from the Quebec stage and the gruelling Mont-Mégantic, the other courses have undergone considerable changes. It's a great challenge to offer athletically challenging routes that are technically feasible. We are especially proud of this year's vintage.
The 23rd Edition will be launched June 10 with the revamped Lac-Etchemin / Lac-Etchemin stage, a 167-km warm up covering a major part of the beautiful Etchemin countryside, with just a sideways glance at Bellechasse before returning to the town of Lac-Etchemin.
Wednesday June 11, the Vallée-Jonction stage will emerge from the Chaudière valley to waltz the river basin of the Beaurivage River before returning to finish the stage.
Next, the competitors will have to face the monster climb of Mont Megantic during the 3rd stage on Thursday, June 12, starting in St. Georges and culminating at an observatory perched on top of the highest paved road in Quebec. It's a good bet that some will see stars at the end of this 153-km escapade.
As in the past, Friday, June 13 will be an important day for the cyclists, starting in the morning with a 20-km individual time trial over the same course to be used later on in the summer for the Tim Horton's Canadian Championships. In the evening, the whole population is again invited to the Criterium which will be held in the downtown area of St-Georges. Starting at 6:00 pm, the riders will travel 40 laps on the 1.5-km course.
Exceptionally in 2008, riders will compete on the downtown Saint-Georges circuit on Saturday. This circuit is largely redesigned; riders will climb a significant rise 15 times before crossing the finishing line, where three Grand Prix de Montagne will be held during the stage.
The competitors will wind up the 23rd Edition right in the heart of Quebec City's 400th Anniversary celebrations. The last stage will take place Sunday, June 15, starting at 12:15 pm near the Parc de la Francophonie, on Grande-Allée. A 13.9-km downtown loop, already identified as worthy of the World Championships, will lead the cyclists 9 times on the descent of Côte de Sillery Street and along the Saint Lawrence River on Boulevard Champlain before tackling the Côte de la Montagne Street.
The Tour de Beauce is expecting 22 teams made up of a little more than 150 cyclists, at the starting line for its 23rd Edition, beginning June 10.
The organizers are more than satisfied with the teams selected as much by their number as by their quality, and anticipate that the caliber will be a notch higher than last year, while presenting a consistently strong pack made up of several teams able to win the race.
Canada is once again well-represented with 9 teams including 2 UCI Continental teams. The Symmetrics team will be back with Svein Tuft, 2nd in 2007's overall ranking. Team Race under the leadership of Steve Bauer will have the veteran Mark Walters and the Quebecois François Parisien. The Quebec Team will also be one to watch with the presence of Charles Dionne. Completing the Canadian delegation will be Volkswagen Trek, Garneau-Crocs, 2Peer.com, Trek Red Truck Racing and Vallée de l'aluminium, who is lining up Dominique Perras this year.
Not to be outdone, the United States will be represented by four teams: Team Type 1 with 2006's winner Kobzarenko and Slipstream presented by Chipotle with David Zabriskie; also notable is the return to Beauce of Jittery Joe's, and to complete the teams, Rocky Mountain.
Among the foreign teams are German Sparkasse, holder of the yellow jersey two days in 2006, the Mexican continental Tecos, with the winner of the 2007 polka dot jersey, the return of the Polish team Amore & Vita-McDonald's, the Irish Pezula Racing, and Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk from England. Cypriot A.Style Stomn and Konica Minolta from South Africa round out the European Continental field. Add to that the teams from Colombian National, the U-23 South African National as well as a French selection from Aix-en Provence.