Québec City’s Mini Tour de France

Bike Race Quebec line of bicycles

Move over, Tour de France—your baby brother’s gotten a little bigger and has started getting noticed. Forgot his name? It’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, now say that over and over and don’t forget!

Started in 2010 by Canadian broadcasting company, Groupe Serdy, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec hosted its second annual edition this past September in Québec City and Montréal. Québec City was practically on break as residents and tourists alike relaxed along the streets on the gorgeous clear, blue-sky day, cheering for their favorite teams.

Bike Race Quebec back bikers

Recently the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec has been recognized as one of the races of the elite UCI World Tour, which “brings together the world’s greatest road races.” Just before the competition, 22 teams representing 12 countries gathered together around the Grande Allée to speak to their fans and answer questions. Unlike most bicycle races that take place over the course of a few weeks, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec lasts for only one day in Québec City and one day in Montréal. In Québec City, riders are required to ride 16 laps around the city which has 4 major hills that pass through the old city and gardens surrounding the city. The Montréal race follows a similar route, with 17 laps and three hills.

Bike Race Quebec close up racer

Fans were on the edge of their seats in Québec City, where the winner, Philippe Gilbert, of the Belgian Team Omega Pharma-Lotto beat Robert Gesink of the Dutch Team Rabobank by only 3 seconds. In past races Gilbert has won individual stages for the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, and the Vuelta España. In Montréal, Portuguese cyclist from Team Movistar, Rui Costa, finished the race first in 5 hours, 20 minutes, 18 seconds.

Bike Race Quebec winners

Although this year marked only the second race, both cities were packed with people proud to be a part of this new Canadian tradition. It’s the perfect way to spend a day in Québec City or Montréal—whether you’re an avid sports fan who wants to enjoy the race or just a tourist trying to catch an exciting glimpse of the city. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even get to have a one-on-one chat with your favorite athlete.

For more information on the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec or the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, visit: http://gpcqm.ca

Patricia Honeycutt Cantor
Patricia Honeycutt Cantor
Pat has spent most of her childhood and adult life on the road, from family trips across the U.S. to global travel for business including years trudging to Europe for fashion weeks. Every place on earth fascinates her as do the people living there. She writes for a variety of publications, both print and online and is a founding member of the recently launched social shopping site, ViviNOW.com. She also dabbles in public relations for folks she believes in. Wisely, she’s learned to seek out the best in life from the simple to the sublime. Cantor and her husband shuttle between homes in the U.S. and French Caribbean with forays to German’s legendary Black Forest.

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