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9
AUGUST 2015
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The Canadian Business Journal
to participate, the Grands Prix Cyclistes received
the feedback that each and every rider wanted to
come back to Québec the following year.
Leblanc notes that the cyclists also enjoyed
the enthusiastic Canadian reception they
received, as cycling has become increasingly
international in recent years. Last year, 28
nationalities were represented at the Grands
Prix Cyclistes, including riders from South
America and Africa.
“When the riders go in Italy, France or
Belgium, people will root for the French in
France or the Italians in Italy. Here, people root
for everyone because they are glad to have this
kind of race here in their backyard. The riders
appreciated that along with the services we pro-
vided them,” he says.
To promote the development of élite cycling
in Canada, The Grands Prix Cyclistes organizers
decided to add a race on Saturday in Montreal
(between the Grands Prix Cyclistes races). This
will be a National Criterium race for Canadian
and North American riders. This additional race
provides Canadian riders with an opportunity to
race in a professional event, and perhaps impress
WorldTeammanagement. There will also be a
race for women, the first in Montreal since the last
World Cup event held in 2009. Canada has some
great female riders, and not enough races for them.
Since 2010, the Grands Prix Cyclistes have
invited the Canadian National team to participate.
This is one of the only chances that young
Canadian riders have to compete against the best
of the best and be seen by the WorldTeams. In the
last few years, some Canadian riders like Hugo
Houle (AG2R La Mondiale) Antoine Duchesne
(Team Europcar) Guillaume Boivin (Cannondale
2013–2014), participated in the race with the
National Team and later on got recruited by
professional teams. Canada certainly has great
athletes; they just need to get some exposure.
Supporting noble causes
The Grands Prix are proud supporters of the IRIC
(the Institute for Research in Immunology and
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