The two Canadian races are back on the calendar after a two-year hiatus.

The peloton travels this week to North America, for two events that have always delivered plenty of spectacle and emotion since being created more than a decade ago. First race, scheduled on Friday, is the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, which will see the peloton cover 16 laps of a 12.6km circuit that includes four demanding climbs: Côte de la Montagne (375 m, 10%), Côte de la Potasse (420 m, 9%), Montée de la Fabrique (190 m, 7%) and Montée du Fort (1000 m, 4%), the last of these being where the winner has emerged at most of the past editions.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, the bunch will take on the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal (219.6 kilometers), another race run on a local circuit, this time 12.3 kilometers in length, similar to the one used at the World Championships won by Eddy Merckx in 1974; Côte Camillien-Houde (1800 m, 8%), Côte de Polytechnique (780 m, 6%) and Avenue du Parc (560 m, 4%) are the day’s three difficulties, which should shake up the peloton and be used by the riders as springboard to victory.

One of the most successful teams of the season – with 40 victories, a dozen of which came at World Tour level – Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will be present at the start of the two Canadian races with a strong seven-man squad consisting of Andrea Bagioli, Josef Cerny, Mikkel Honoré, James Knox, Belgium Tour winner Mauro Schmid, neo-pro Stan Van Tricht and Mauri Vansevenant.

“We have a good team for the two races. Mauri and James come after a strong outing at the Deutschland Tour, where they underlined the form they have at the moment. Andrea, Mikkel and Mauro are other solid cards to play, while Josef and Stan, who is getting better and better, can control things if needed. The races aren’t easy, but we will give our best to get a good result”, said sports director Wilfried Peeters.


Photo credit: ©Bas Czerwinski / Getty Images

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