Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert and Peter Sagan headline Canadian ‘Grand Prix’ racing return

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A stellar start list topped by Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert and Peter Sagan headlines the return of Canadian “Grand Prix” racing after a two-year absence.

Other confirmed starters include Michael Matthews, Geraint Thomas, Greg Van Avermaet, Romain Bardet and Canadian Tour de France stage winner Hugo Houle for the September one-day races back on the calendar.

The Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec and Montréal, the only races in America on the UCI WorldTour circuit, are back for the latest chapter in a story that began in 2010.

Read also: Races we love — Quebec and Montreal GP

The Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec is confirmed for September 9 and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal is set for September 11. Both races will feature one of the most exciting fields to ever compete in Quebec with, among others, four of the top six overall finishers in this year’s Tour de France.

The 18 UCI WorldTeams, plus two wild card ProTeams — Team Arkéa-Samsic and TotalEnergies — as well as Team Canada, have selected top-notch teams, officials confirmed.

The 201.6 km (16 laps of 12.6 km) Quebec course with its famous climb of the Côte de La Montagne and the 221.4 km (18 laps of 12.3 km) Montreal course which includes the stretch of the Voie Camilien-Houde in the background.

Among the 147 runners at the start will be the following big names:

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), winner of the Tour de France in 2020 and 2021 and vice-champion in 2022, and winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia in 2021 as well as Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico in 2022.

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), winner of the green jersey (points classification) of the Tour de France 2022, winner of nine stages of the Tour de France, and winner of Milan-San Remo in 2020, of the Amstel Gold Race in 2021, and Het Nieuwsblad in 2022.

Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), three-time road world champion and winner of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in 2013 and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in 2016 and 2017, as well as Paris-Roubaix 2018 and the Tour of Flanders 2016.

Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën), gold medalist in the men’s individual road race at the 2016 Summer Olympics, winner of the 2019 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal and two-time podium finisher, who also rode six times on the podium in Quebec in eight attempts.

Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange–Jayco), winner of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in 2018 and 2019, of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in 2019 and stage winner at the Tour de France 2022.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), third in the 2022 Tour de France, runner-up in 2019 and winner in 2018, and a member of Britain’s gold medal-winning team pursuit team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Romain Bardet (Team DSM), sixth in the Tour de France 2022, runner-up in 2016 and third in 2017, and David Gaudu (France) (Groupama-FDJ), fourth in the Tour de France 2022, are both expected to race.

Other top riders include Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Binam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Magnus Cort Nielsen ( EF Education -EasyPost), Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) and Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic).

Among the Canadians, there will be Hugo Houle and Guillaume Boivin (both Israel-Premier Tech), and Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), as well as a whole contingent of Canadian riders in competition.

“We are particularly happy and proud to see the world’s elite runners return to Quebec and Montreal,” said race organizer Sébastien Arsenault. “We worked hard over the past two years, which have been particularly difficult, to make sure the story would continue.

“Thanks to our teams and the trust of our public and private partners, we have ensured the sustainability of our races. We are deeply touched by the enthusiasm of the WorldTeams to return to our shores, the quality of the riders who will cross the Atlantic to compete in the only races in the Americas on the UCI WorldTour calendar, and the support from the worldwide cycling community as well as the fans during these two years. I am convinced that the races of 2022 will be remembered for a long time. »

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