June 17/13 0:00 am - 2013 Grands Prix Cyclistes Takes Shape
Posted by Editoress on 06/17/13
Fourth Edition of Grands Prix Cyclistes is all About Growth
On September 13 and 15, the prestigious UCI WorldTour road cycling circuit stops in the Americas for a fourth year in a row, for the Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes (GPCQM). In the space of 48 hours, the planet’s very best riders will attack the acclaimed Québec City and Montréal courses, covering distances of more than 200 km in each city.
The organizers acknowledge the support of their public and private partners in presenting these races for the fourth straight year. The City of Québec, the City of Montréal, the Government of Canada and the Government of Québec all play indispensable roles in bringing these prestige sports events to the streets of Québec City and Montréal, as do three major private-sector partners.
• Québecor makes this exciting sports spectacle available to millions of Québecers via its TVA and TVA Sports networks, while supporting the Grands Prix Cyclistes’ promotional initiatives.
• KIA Canada provides first-class financial and technical support, supplying more than 80 vehicles vital to the smooth running of the races.
• And support has been provided since 2010 by Air Transat, in the form of overseas charter flights-unique among WorldTour events-transporting the ProTeams and their substantial cargo.
A record number of local riders in the WorldTour ranks
The 2013 edition of the Grands Prix Cyclistes will feature 21 teams of eight riders each. The 19 ProTeams competing on the UCI WorldTour circuit this year will be there, along with a Pro Continental squad in the form of Team Europcar (which includes Québecer David Veilleux, who wore the yellow jersey in this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné). To round out the peloton, the organizers have invited Cycling Canada to select a national team.
Incidentally, this season’s UCI WorldTour ranks include a record number of riders from Québec and elsewhere in Canada. Seven Canadian cyclists are members of ProTeams: Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Guillaume Boivin (Cannondale Pro Cycling), Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), Christian Meier (Orica GreenEDGE), François Parisien (Argos Shimano), Dominique Rollin (FDJ) and Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEDGE). Also making waves this year is David Veilleux (Europcar), who won a stage in the most recent Critérium du Dauphiné and will have a high-profile opportunity to show off the range of his talents in July, in the 100th Tour de France. Veilleux will be the first Québec born cyclist to take part in the Grande Boucle.
“We’re proud of the depth of the Canadian talent that is making it into the professional ranks these days, and I hope that the Grands Prix Cyclistes will continue to be catalysts of success for our young riders,” said Serge Arsenault, President, GPCQM. “And once again this year, we’re proud to be welcoming so many of the world’s top racers, who will be out to write another page of cycling history here in Québec.”
In compliance with UCI rules, all teams must submit their list of riders entered no later than 20 days before race day. The list must include eight riders and up to four alternates. The lists will therefore be made public the week of August 19. The official start list, meanwhile, will be revealed around 72 hours before the start of each race.
The Challenge Sprint Pro takes hold
This year will mark the third edition of the Challenge Sprint Pro. Taking place on Grande Allée in Québec City on Thursday, September 12, this explosive one-kilometre sprint event will feature a representative from each ProTeam, plus Europcar and the Canadian team, and three other Canadian athletes selected by Cycling Canada.
Zach Bell winning the Challenge Sprint in 2012
The 2012 final had two Canadians in the spotlight, as Zach Bell took top honours, outpacing Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Team Garneau-Québecor) and Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEDGE). The Challenge Sprint Pro, created by the GPCQM organizers, is broadcast live in more than 60 countries, and the organizers are continuing to work with the UCI to introduce more races in this format in conjunction with WorldTour events.
Greater visibility for Québec City and Montréal – TV coverage in over 100 countries in 2013
The Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes have garnered solid reputations and benefited from increasing international TV coverage in the three years since their inception. In 2013, the events will be seen on television in more than 100 countries, representing close to 440 million households in Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa as well as North and South America. Building on strong and growing interest in these WorldTour events, the first three editions of the Grands Prix Cyclistes attracted more than 200,000 spectators to the racecourse sites in Québec City and Montréal. Last year, 85% of attendees said they were likely or very likely to come back for the 2013 edition, meaning that the events will once again generate substantial economic benefits for Québec. In 2012, the events generated total economic activity in excess of $32,500,000.
Something new to add to the party: two top-flight events for recreational riders
For 2013, the organizers had a special thought for amateur riders, both locals and those visiting from abroad, and created two one-of-a-kind cyclosportives. The only mass recreational rides to be held in conjunction with UCI WorldTour events in the Americas, the all-new Cyclo La Québécoise and Cyclo La Montréalaise are the perfect complement to a 100% cycling week for both the general public and professionals. “These cyclos will prove to be an outstanding showcase for Québec, displaying the beauty of our country landscapes to the rest of the world, along with the warm welcome, tourism savoir-faire and taste for celebration for which we are so well known,” Arsenault concluded.