MONTRÉAL, Aug. 29, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - For their seventh edition, the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal (GPCQM) are honoured to welcome an especially impressive field this year. The peloton at the only two UCI WorldTour races in the Americas will comprise 21 teams of eight riders each—the 18 UCI WorldTeams, two Professional Continental teams, Bora-Argon 18 and Team Direct Energie, as well as Team Canada—for a total of 168 athletes representing some thirty nationalities and four continents.
The races on the Québec City and Montréal courses on September 9 and 11 will feature:
- the reigning Road World Champion;
- the top four finishers from the Rio Olympic Games Road Race;
- two of the top four from this year's Tour de France along with seven stage winners;
- three of the six current UCI WorldTour points leaders; and
- six former GPCQM winners.
The competition promises to be intense, with the squads entering their best climbers and puncheurs—the rider types best suited to these demanding city circuits. The headliner will be Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), clad in his Rainbow Jersey as World Champion. The Slovak sensation, who can shine on all types of terrain, is currently leading the UCI rankings, and has previously proved that he is tailor-made for these Canadian races, with a memorable win in Montréal in 2013. He will be joined at the start line by top-drawer cyclists including:
- The Gold Medalist in the Road Race at the Rio Olympics, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), whose palmarès includes two podium finishes in Québec City;
- From France, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), runner-up to Chris Froome in this year's Tour de France, Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx–Quick Step), who came fourth at the Olympics, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), and Bryan Coquard (Team Direct Energie);
- Britain's Adam Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange), fourth in this year's Tour de France;
- Italy's Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team), who won the 2015 Vuelta a España;
- the two winners of last year's GPCQM, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal);
- established stars Tom Boonen (Etixx–Quick Step) and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), the winner in Montréal in 2011;
- Jarlison Pantano (IAM Cycling) and Jon Izagirre (Movistar Team), who each won a Tour de France stage this year; and many more.
In these impressively competitive races, a number of Canadians will be looking to play key roles: Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo), who will race before a home crowd in his final UCI WorldTour events before retiring; Québecers Antoine Duchesne (Team Direct Energie) and Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), who, after completing the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia respectively, competed together for Canada at the Rio Olympics with Mike Woods (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team); as well as the members of Team Canada, led by National Road Racing Champion Bruno Langlois.
"We're proud that the UCI WorldTour teams are participating so enthusiastically and entering truly first-rate teams," says Marcel Leblanc, Vice-President of the GPCQM. "With a field including the current World Champion, the iconic Peter Sagan, plus key riders from the most recent Tour de France and the Olympics, we're sure to see some great battles. This proves that our races are continuing to prove attractive to the world's cycling élite."
TEAMS AND KEY RIDERS
AG2R La Mondiale (FRA): Romain Bardet (FRA), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA) and Hugo Houle (CAN)Astana Pro Team (KAZ): Fabio Aru (ITA) and Jakob Fuglsang (DAN)
BMC Racing Team (USA) : Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) and Joey Rosskopf (USA)
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team (USA): Rigoberto Uran (COL), Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED) et Mike Woods (CAN)
Etixx–Quick Step (BEL): Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) and Tom Boonen (BEL)
FDJ (FRA): Anthony Roux (FRA)
IAM Cycling (SUI): Jarlinson Pantano (COL) and Martin Elmiger (SUI)
Lampre-Merida (ITA): Rui Costa (POR) and Diego Ulissi (ITA)
Lotto Soudal (BEL) : Tim Wellens (BEL) and Tony Gallopin (FRA)
Movistar Team (ESP): Jon Izagirre (ESP) and Jesus Herrada (ESP)
ORICA BikeExchange (AUS): Adam Yates (GBR) and Michaël Matthews (AUS)
Team Dimension Date (RSA): Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI) and Serge Pauwels (BEL)
Team Giant-Alpecin (GER): Simon Geschke (GER) and Laurens Ten Dam (NED)
Team Katusha (RUS): Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) and Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (NED): Wilco Kelderman (NED) and Moreno Hofland (NED)
Team Sky (GBR): Geraint Thomas (GRB) and Lars Petter Nordhaug (NOR)
Tinkoff (RUS): Peter Sagan (SVK) and Rafal Majka (POL)
Trek-Segafredo (USA): Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) and Bauke Mollema (NED)
Bora-Argon 18 (GER): Emanuel Buchmann (GER) and Sam Bennett (IRL)
Team Direct Energie (FRA): Antoine Duchesne (CAN), Bryan Coquard (FRA) and Thomas Voeckler (FRA)
Team Canada (CAN): Bruno Langlois, Guillaume Boivin and Ryan Roth
ABOUT THE GPCQM
The Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal, the only two spots on the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour in America, contribute to fulfilling one of the primary objectives of the UCI: the globalization of élite cycling. These tour stops are in addition to the existing, officially sanctioned events in Europe and Oceania. Since 2010, the organization has been responsible for the planning and the conduct of the GPCQM and counts on the invaluable support of public and private partners: the Government of Canada, the Gouvernement du Québec, the city of Québec, the city of Montréal, the National Battlefields Commission, Québec City Tourism, Tourisme Montréal, Québecor, Air Transat, and TVA Sports (official GPCQM broadcaster).
ABOUT THE UCI
The International Cycling Union (UCI) is the international federation of cycling, recognized by the International Olympic Committee (ICO). The UCI oversees the worldwide management and promotion of the eight disciplines of cycling.
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