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SOURCE Événement GPCQM
MONTRÉAL, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - The organizers of the upcoming 5th edition of the Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes (GPs), are pleased to announce that this year's races will feature a first-rate peloton that includes 6 of the current top 15 riders in the UCI WorldTour rankings. The field includes several classics specialists along with some veterans of the GPs. Since their inception in 2010, the Québec City and Montréal events have established a pedigree on the world circuit and remain the only UCI WorldTour races contested in the Americas. Whether on the punishing Côte de la Polytechnique on Montréal's Mount Royal (September 14) or in the final sprint along Grande Allée in Québec City, (September 12), 2014 promises a thrilling spectacle given the headliners in the roster, among them 6 of the top-15 finishers at this year's Tour de France. Full team rosters available at http://gpcqm.ca/en/news-room/communicates/
For the first time, spectators in Québec will see the rainbow jersey of the reigning Road World Champion in the peloton, the person of Alberto Rui Costa. He's no stranger to these GPs, where he has shone over the years, including in 2011 when he topped the podium in Montréal. "These are tough, very beautiful circuit races," he says, adding: "They're ideal preparations for the World Championships. But above all, they are important for your palmarès. Montréal was the first major victory of my career in a one-day race." The Portuguese champion will have help from LAMPRE-MERIDA teammates like the ageless Christopher Horner, winner of the 2013 Vuelta a España, but he'll have his work cut out for him, up against some elite competition including a trio of French stars in Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R LA MONDIALE), second in the 2014 Tour de France, and Romain Bardet (AG2R LA MONDIALE), sixth in that same race, and Tony Gallopin (LOTTO BELISOL), a stage winner and Yellow Jersey, also in this year's Tour de France. Other high-profile stars in the mix include Tejay Van Garderen (BMC RACING TEAM), fifth in the Tour de France, Simon Gerrans (ORICA GREENEDGE), who won in Québec City and 2012 and has a reputation for bagging classics (he won Liège-Bastogne-Liège this year), Michael Rogers (TINKOFF-SAXO), who won stages on both the Giro and the Tour de France en 2014, and Frank Schleck (TREK FACTORY RACING), back riding with the pros this season.
The list of potential winners is long, given the presence of riders like Greg Van Avermaet (BMC RACING TEAM), who finished third in Québec City and fourth in Montréal last year, Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr), second in Québec City last year, plus Tom-Jelte Slagter (GARMIN SHARP), Jurgen Roelandts (LOTTO BELISOL), Edvald Boasson Hagen and Geraint Thomas (both of TEAM SKY) and others whose skills seem tailor-made for the highly selective Québec City and Montréal courses. Among the 18 ProTeams in this year's peloton, AG2R LA MONDIALE, currently sitting second in the UCI WorldTour standings, has entered six of the nine men who took the Team Classification honours in the 2014 Tour de France (Péraud, Bardet, Kadri, Riblon, Minard and Gastauer). "Québec City and Montréal are festive events conducive to great action, and the riders really love going over there. The circuits are very well laid out and favour climbers and puncheurs," an enthusiastic Péraud commented a few days ago.
As always, the GPs will include a contingent of Canadian riders, including two of the three Québecers on the UCI WorldTour, Hugo Houle (AG2R LA MONDIALE) and Antoine Duchesne (TEAM EUROPCAR), who'll be competing in front of a home crowd, plus Christian Meier (ORICA GREENEDGE). The GP organizers announced the Canadian National Team roster this week >>>
"We have a extremely high-calibre field once again this year," said Charly Mottet, Sports Manager of the Grands Prix Cyclistes and a former World No. 1. "The favourites are a mix of great champions and authentic one-day-race specialists, so we should be in for a first-rate show. The GPs are increasingly prized on the pro riders' palmarès."
CHALLENGE SPRINT PRO
The Challenge Sprint Pro was created by the Québec City and Montréal organization in the spirit of innovation and to modernize competitive cycling. Scheduled for September 11, it's the first event on the week-long GP calendar, and features 24 sprinters in an elimination fight to the finish on a one-kilometre course that won't forgive the slightest weakness or tactical error. A heated battle is expected between Bryan Coquard (TEAM EUROPCAR), defending his title from last year, and Matthew Goss (ORICA-GREENEDGE), who was third in 2012. The organizers promise an explosive spectacle: daring sprinters, impressive speed and superhuman bursts of acceleration. It's 90 minutes of non-stop action… with no tomorrow.
THE PROTEAMS AND KEY RIDERS
AG2R LA MONDIALE (France)
Jean-Christophe Péraud (France), 2nd, 2014 Tour de France
Romain Bardet (France), 6th, 2014 Tour de France
Hugo Houle (Canada), 2nd, Time Trial, 2014 Canadian Championships
ASTANA PRO TEAM (Kazakhstan)
Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark), 5th, Paris-Nice
Janesz Brajkovic (Slovenia), winner, 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné
BELKIN-PRO CYCLING TEAM (Netherlands)
Bauke Mollema (Netherlands), 10th, Tour de France
Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium), 3rd, Tour of Flanders and 4th, Paris-Roubaix, 2014
BMC RACING TEAM (USA)
Tejay Van Garderen (USA), winner, 2013 Tour of California and 2013 Tour of Colorado. This season: winner, Tour of Colorado, 5th, Tour de France
Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium), 2nd, Tour of Flanders, 5th, Eneco Tour. 2nd and 3rd in the 2012 and 2013 Québec City GP, 4th in the 2013 Montréal GP
Marco Marcato (Italy), winner, 2012 Paris-Tours. This season: 10th, Eneco Tour
Davide Formolo (Italy), this season: 2nd, Italian Championship, 4th, Tour of Turkey
Arthur Vichot (France), 3rd, Paris-Nice, 2nd, Québec City 2013GP
Pierrick Fédrigo (France), winner of 4 stages of the Tour de France, 2nd, 2011 Montréal GP
GARMIN SHARP (USA)
Tom Danielson (USA), 2nd, 2014 Tour of Colorado
Tom-Jelte Slagter (Netherlands), winner of 2 stages of Paris-Nice, 6th, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 2014. 5th and 7th in the 2012 and 2013 Québec City GP
TEAM KATUSHA (Russia)
Simon Spilak (Slovenia), stage winner in the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Romandie
Luca Paolini (Italy), winner, 2013 Circuit Het Nieuwsblad, 4th, 2012 Québec City GP
Rui Alberto Costa (Portugal), winner, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Tour of Switzerland, 2013 Road World Champion. Winner, 2011 Montréal GP, 5th in Québec City and 6th in Montréal in 2013
Christopher Horner (USA), winner, 2013 Vuelta a España, 2nd, 2014 Tour of Utah
Tony Gallopin (France), stage winner, 2014 Tour de France
Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium), 3rd, Tour of Qatar, 10th, Tour of Flanders. 4th, 2011 Montréal GP and 7th, 2012 Montréal GP
MOVISTAR TEAM (Spain)
Igor Anton (Spain), winner of 4 stages of the Vuelta a España
Giovanni Visconti (Italy), winner of 2 stages of the 2013 Giro d'Italia
OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK-STEP (Belgium)
Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic), winner, Eneco Tour and Stage 7, 2013 Vuelta a España. This season: 5th, Paris-Roubaix
Gianni Meersman (Belgium), winner, 2014 Tour de Wallonie
ORICA GREENEDGE (Australia)
Simon Gerrans (Australia), winner, 2009 GP de Plouay, 2012 Milan-San Remo, and 2014 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This season: winner, Tour Down Under, winner, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 3rd, Amstel Gold Race. Winner, 2012 Québec City GP
Michael Albasini (Switzerland), winner, 2012 Tour of Catalonia and winner, 2 stages of 2014 Tour de Romandie
TREK FACTORY RACING (USA)
Frank Schleck (Luxembourg), winner, 2006 Amstel Gold Race and 2010 Tour of Switzerland. 12th, Tour de France
Stijn Devolder (Belgium), winner, 2008 and 2009 Tour of Flanders, 2008 and 2010 Tour of Belgium
TEAM SKY (Great Britain)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), winner, 2009 Gent-Wevelgem, stages 6 and 17, 2011 Tour de France, 2012 GP de Plouay. 5th, 2012 Montréal GP
Geraint Thomas (Great Britain), two-time Olympic Champion, Team Pursuit, 7th, Paris-Roubaix
TEAM GIANT-SHIMANO (Netherlands)
Simon Geschke (Germany), winner Stage 2, Critérium International 2011. 9th, Québec City GP 2013
Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands), winner, Time Trial, 2014 Dutch Championship, 3rd, Eneco Tour, 5th, Tour of Switzerland.
Michael Rogers (Australia), Time Trial World Champion, 2003, 2004 and 2005, winner, 2 stages of the Giro d'Italia and one stage of the Tour de France
Matti Breschel (Denmark), winner, Tour of Luxembourg 8th, 2013 Québec City GP
TEAM EUROPCAR (France)
Cyril Gautier (France), winner, 2013 Tour du Finistère, 6th, Paris-Nice
Bryan Coquard (France), Olympic Silver Medallist, Omnium, winner, 2014 Paris-Camembert. Winner, 2013 Challenge Sprint Pro
Antoine Duchesne (Canada), 2nd, Polynormande
ABOUT THE RACES
The Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes, the only two UCI WorldTour races held in North America, contribute in large measure toward the achievement of one of the International Cycling Union's primary objectives: the globalization of élite-level cycling. These races are now established, UCI-sanctioned events alongside events in Europe, Oceania and Asia. The organizing committee has been responsible for planning and putting on the Québec City and Montréal GPs since 2010, and receives vital support from public- and private-sector partners: the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec, the City of Québec, the City of Montréal, the National Battlefields Commission, the Office du tourisme de Québec, Tourisme Montréal, Québecor, Air Transat, Via Rail and Québec Original.
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