Several innovations will mark the 5th edition of the Saguenay Cycling Grand Prix, which will take place this year from June 13 to 16. Certainly, cyclists will need good legs from the beginning of the competition to meet the challenges that the organization has concocted, as evidenced by the courses on its website.
For the initial stage, cycling teams will be able to reconnect with the Kénogami course and its famous Des Meules / Price coast, which they will climb 12 times (11.9 km loop) for a total of 141.3 km. . The next day, during the stage baieriveraine, the calves of the runners will be solicited again in the beautiful scenery of the Bay of Ha! Ha! Except that this year, a large addition will spice up the last loop. Riders will have to climb the grueling climb of chemin Saint-Charles (well-known as La Poche Lake), which will crown the route of the stage.
In the case of Kénogami, the last time the cycling stage was contested was in 2016. The following year, the organization had to find an alternative because of the work done on the aluminum bridge and last year, a conflict of dates had resulted in the GP organization instead hosting the Canadian Cycling and Para-Cycling Road Championships.
The Friday stage at The Bay will be an additional challenge. “I’ve been working for a while already on this step (and adding) will completely change the pace of the race. We have a race situation that will no longer be played with bonuses in time, but in real differences. We stay on the traditional route around the Théâtre du Palais municipal, but at the very last loop, instead of returning directly to the line, they will turn on Grande-Baie South to climb the climb Saint-Charles “, explains the CEO Simon Ouellet.
“For the 5th edition, we wanted to make changes. We had thought of all sorts of things, including a time trial, but the goal was to keep a criterium on Saturday, a stage that is fun for the riders. Because the runners like to ride in the city, in Chicoutimi, on Saturday. Except that with the addition to the stage of The Bay, it will change the pace of the race and it will be more spectacular. ”
The climb, often used to crown the king and queen of the mountain in the region, extends for 2.6 km and has an average slope of 6%. The problem is that there is a portion of 100 meters with a slope of 17% … A great challenge for this stage of 156 kilometers (10 laps of 15.3 km).
On Saturday, the success obtained last year with the presentation of the Criterium in the Bassin sector (Little White House Park) ensures that the course will be back this year. “Last year, we saw that it gave good results at the level of the race itself. We still modified a little the way to get to the boulevard Saint-Paul. It was necessary to comply with the standards of the International Cycling Union (UCI), which requires a minimum distance of 2 kilometers. If we had stayed with last year’s course, we would have missed a distance. It will also be a path a little easier in this way and that corresponds a little more to a race in stages, “says Simon Ouellet.
As for the Sunday stage, it remains the same with the start on the boulevard Saguenay, to go up the rue Bégin until the Boulevards Barrette and Saint-Paul to close the loop. The cyclists will do it 9 times for a total of 95.4 km.
(JSTP) – The Saguenay GP cycling organization expects to easily fill the 19 places available for the 2019 edition. Already 12 teams have confirmed their presence.
“With the UCI calendar very limited at the level of racing in North America, it is not the teams that miss, says Simon Ouellet, CEO of the organization. We are well served this year and I will be conservative saying that 12 teams have confirmed their participation at 100%. We will certainly reach the goal of 19 teams. ”
Among the teams having confirmed their presence, he quotes Interpro Cycling Academy, a continental team from Japan that includes in its ranks a young Quebecer, Charles-Étienne Chrétien. “This is a good team to watch and who also races in Europe,” says Simon Ouellet.
The X-Speed United Hong Kong team, which includes riders from all over, including Canadians, will also be present. The former Silber Pro training will be back under the name of Floyd Pro Cycling. Former Lance Armstrong teammate and 2006 Tour de France defeated champion Floyd Landis owns a therapeutic cannabis business and has money to help finance the team.
Two Canadian teams will be there, the Quebec team Probaclac / Devinci Cycling Team and an amateur team from Ontario. Several teams from the United States could be added soon and perhaps a training from Mexico.
By the start of the 5th edition, the organization of the Saguenay GP Cycling will hold its benefit cocktail on Thursday, May 30, at the Maltée Way plant on rue des Laurentides in Chicoutimi. A number of door prizes will be drawn, including the Canadian baieriveraine stage jersey won by Antoine Duchesne in June 2018. The jersey was signed by the rider of the Groupama-FDJ team. Tickets are on sale to the members of the board of directors of the Saguenay Cycling GP.
Finally, the GP cyclist will fall at the same time as the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie. However, both events will not be detrimental to volunteer troops. “It was very good and we prepared accordingly. We have planned for volunteers and there is a nice answer, so there should not be any problem, “concluded Simon Ouellet.