January 8/03 5:42 am - Langkawi Selection Finalized, Tour in Quebec?
Posted by Editor on 01/8/03
Tour de Langkawi Team Finalized
We have learned that the final two riders for the Canadian national squad at the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia at the end of this month have been selected. They are Gord Fraser and Alexandre Lavellee. The full team will consist of:
This is probably the strongest team Canada has ever sent to the TdL, with Green the obvious GC rider, and Fraser for stage wins. It should also be noted that Fraser's appearance with the national teams confirms rumours that the Hot Wheels squad (ex-Mercury) is still in the process of putting together sponsors and financing, and will be skipping TdL.
Quebec City Announces Proposal to Host 2008 Tour Start
A rumour has been circulating for sometime regarding a proposal for the city of Quebec to host the start of the Tour de France in 2008, and on Tuesday (January 7th) city officials finally confirmed that they have approached the organizers of the world's largest bike race with such a plan. 2008 was chosen because it will be the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city.
The mayor of Quebec, Jean-Paul Lâ€šAllier, announced that initial contact was made with the organization during the summer by locally-based manufacturer Louis Garneau on behalf of the city. The Tour has invited Quebec to submit a proposal, and will study the feasibility of having a trans-Atlantic start.
While the Tour has expanded beyond the borders of France in recent years (including Luxembourg last year), this would be the first time it would leave Europe. In 1994 two stages were held in England, and in 1998 the prologue and first two stages took place in Ireland. Besides the enormous competition that already exists between cities who wish to host the Tour start, the logisitics of moving the teams, officials and organizers across the ocean do not favour a North American start.
Having said that, it is not completely unfeasible. It has been suggested before that the Concorde could cut travel time for riders to an acceptable amount. The province of Quebec is the logical North American location, due to both its historic ties with France and the history road racing in Quebec, including the GP Cycliste de Beauce and the Montreal World Cup, which was so successful a decade ago.
At this point it is all speculation - Quebec has not even submitted a formal proposal yet. At the city level, there seems to be tremendous support, if they can generate the same kind of support over the next couple of years at the provincial and federal level, then maybe, just maybe there is an chance that we could see the yellow jersey on our shores.