The Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal – currently the only two UCI WorldTour level races to take place in North America – will return next month after a two-year absence, and will feature a stacked line-up of Grand Tour and Monument champions including Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers).
COVID-19 saw the cancellation of both events in 2020 and 2021, and the return of the men’s pro peloton to Canada in 2022 has been embraced by the top teams, who are fielding strong line-ups despite the congestion of the late summer schedule, including Canada’s own Tour de France stage winner Hugo Houle (Israel–Premier Tech).
Sébastien Arsenault, President and CEO of GPCQM, the organising body that puts on the two races, spoke yesterday in an official press release.
“We are especially pleased and proud to see the world’s élite riders return to Québec City and Montréal. We’ve worked hard over the past two years, which have been particularly challenging, to make sure that the story would continue.”
The field is impressive in its depth, with the headliners arguably 2020 and 2021 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) and this year’s green jersey winner, Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma), who will use the races as part of their preparation for the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong.
Former winners Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) and Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroen) will return to defend their titles.
“We are deeply touched by the WorldTeams’ enthusiasm to return to our shores, the quality of the riders who’ll be crossing the Atlantic to compete in the only races in the Americas on the UCI WorldTour calendar, and the show of support from the global cycling community as well as the fans during these two years. I’m convinced that the 2022 races will be remembered for a long time to come,”Arsenault said.
Other notable riders in attendance include Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), Romain Bardet (Team DSM), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), and Quebec native Hugo Houle (Israel–Premier Tech), the first rider from the area to win a stage at the Tour de France.
The races take place on 9th and 11th September respectively.