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September 8/10 17:40 pm - ProTour Quebec - Notes and Quotes


Posted by Editoress on 09/8/10
 

ProTour Quebec - Notes and Quotes

- It is still raining off and on, and race organizer Serge Arsenault suggested that UCI President Pat McQuaid and other dignitaries make use of the church next to the Chateau Frontenac to send up some prayers...

- Michael Barry, although still listed with Team Sky on the start list, has confirmed to us that he will not start.

"I won't be racing this week as I haven't recovered from the crashes I had in the TdF and Eneco Tour. Basically, I broke ribs in both events and as they're on the same side I need to be careful and let them heal well and properly. It is disappointing, as I was really looking forward to racing in Canada."

Chris Froome will replace Michael Barry.

 

media ride

Members of the Media/Celebrity ride

 

- A media / local celebrity ride of the course was held earlier today, and among the participants were Steve Bauer, Louis Garneau and Pierre Harvey - the Canadian team from the 1984 Olympics!    Pierre and I were talking about it, and he was shocked to realize that 26 years had passed since Los Angeles ...

 

bauer, Garneau, Harvey

Pierre Harvey, Louis Garneau, Steve Bauer

 

- At the first press conference of the day, with Arsenault, McQuaid, Quebec Mayor Regis Lebeaume and the federal Minister of State for Economic Development present, the UCI President was pressed hard about the chances of Quebec getting the Road Worlds.  He said that the UCI Management Committee is going to review the current rule of thumb that Worlds go out of Europe every seven year, with an eye to revising it to every five years.  And he also agreed that Quebec would have a strong candidature for such a championship.

 

opening

Mayor of Quebec City, The Federal Minister of Economic Development, Serge Arsenault, Pat McQuaid

 

opening

Serge Arsenault


- A press conference was held this afternoon with top riders Ivan Basso (Liquigas Doimo), Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom).  Some comments:

 

Voeckler

Levi Leipheimer and Thomas Voeckler

 

Ivan Basso commented "This circuit race will probably be harder than a [point-to-point] race, because you are always doing the climb, and I think it is harder to chase a breakaway.:"  Basso also did not rate his chances highly, but pointed to team mate Peter Sagan as a contender.

All four riders were asked about the globalization of the sport, whether it was a good idea, or too difficult on the riders and teams.  The general consensus was that it is a good idea - Leipheimer pointed to the success of Formula One car racing as an example.  Thomas Voeckler, however, cautioned that the schedule needs to be rationalized so that riders are not going back and forth multiple times to North America and other places.

 

press conference

Basso, Sanchez, Leipheimer, Voeckler

 

Sanchez was asked (by Gord Fraser, who has come over to the 'dark side' of TV for the weekend) if he is in contact with his team mates at the Vuelta, and if they were bugging him that he had to do well to match their exploits.  He laughed, and said that he was in touch, but no pressure so far.  He also was asked about the descent, since he is regarded as a strong descender.  Sanchez commented that he is only concerned about the climb on this course.

All four agreed that these will be hard races - Leipheimer pointed out that he had ridden up in Quebec three times in the Tour de Beauce, winning twice - but felt that Montreal will be the harder of the two.

- Tomorrow, the Canadian team and Ryder Hesjedal will be providing interviews, which should be WELL attended.  Also tomorrow will be the Sprint Challenge, starting at 5:00 pm.  The final details (and start list) are still being worked out, but the planned event is 16 riders, racing in heats of four, with the top two moving on to the next round.

The riders head backwards from the finish line on a slight downhill into the the old city, and loop around a square in front of the Chateau Frontenac before heading back to the start-finish.  The first downhill section is neutralized.

We have been receiving queries about television coverage - Versus in the U.S., Radio Canada in Quebec and Rogers Sports Net One in the rest of Canada (two hours per race).  Check local listings.

 


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