Friday, September 07, 2018


Past winners Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) but also former podium finishers like Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), are again expected to steal the show both on Québec’s Grande Allée on Friday and in Montréal’s Mont Royal on Sunday.

As GPCQM’s executive vice-president Marcel Leblanc explained, “we have a high class field, with several riders in great shape and several former winners like Van Avermaet, Wellens, Ulissi, Rui Coasta and Simon Gerrans, the most often crowned rider in our races with three wins”. And the usual suspects made it clear their ambitions were high in a season where the World championships, held on a hilly course in Innsbruck, Austria, might suit the climbers better than the riders favoured to do well in Canada.

 Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet won in Montréal in 2016 but has yet to raise his arms in Québec City despite four podium finishes in the old capital. “I’m happy to be here again. These are races that suit me well, there’s always a great atmosphere and good crowds. I hope to be at my best level now and to be there in the finale. Hopefully I can win Québec after a few times on the podium.”

Also winner in Montréal in 2015, fellow-Belgian Tim Wellens is eager for more, especially on Sunday, on a course made even harder by the addition of a new climb in the finale. “Montréal suits me better, the course is beautiful and there are fewer turns than here. Of course I’ll be closely watched but when you have the legs you can make a difference,” he said.

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