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Bonjour à Grand Prix Cycliste 2011

September 7, 2011

Team Mengoni jersey on Keith Vierra (Geert Dessein)

What does Team Mengoni have to do with the Grand Prix Cycliste Canadian races? Enter another dinner conversation about bike racing between me and my husband. I mention over roast chicken and green beans, with the Vuelta playing on the TV in the background, that I plan to write about the Québec and Montréal races.

Steve Bauer,”  Donald said as he looked up from his plate. “I raced with him in Central Park, the year he was on the Fred Mengoni team. He just blew past all of us and won. Oh, and then there was the race when Jonathan Boyer, who was taking it easy at the back, all of a sudden flew past us like a lightning bolt. The pack strung out into one thin line and I was hanging on for dear life. He hit a jogger before he could catch the break. I remember an ambulance at the Boathouse. He broke his collarbone.”

What I want to ask my husband: who have you not raced with in Central Park? First George Hincapie, a team of Colombians, and now Steve Bauer and Jonathan Boyer. Tonight was the first time he mentioned Fred Mengoni, an icon in the sport.  Read here for an amusing piece about Mengoni. The year Donald raced with the Canadian Steve Bauer was 1984. At that time the pros raced together with the amateurs, in a field of about 150 guys.

Fast-forward to September, 2011 when Bauer, as sports director for Team SpiderTech powered by C10, brings a team of eight to compete for the first time to the Canadian Grand Prix Cycliste races. A homecoming that means a lot to Bauer. In the races’ inaugural edition last year, SpiderTech, as a Continental level team, couldn’t compete in these UCI races.

In a cyclingnews.com preview of the Québec race, Bauer said, “These WorldTour races are vitally important to our team mission and the growth of Canadian road cycling. In essence the races are historic for Canadian road cycling as this is the first time in history a Canadian professional road cycling team competes on the WorldTour. That says a lot about how hard we have worked to get there.” Seven of the eight SpiderTech riders in Québec are Canadian, as well as six of the eight team members racing in Montréal.

If last year’s exciting finishes repeat, get ready for a couple of nail-biters. Robert Gesink (Rab) won the 2010 Montréal race with a four second lead over a group of four; Thomas Voeckler (BBOX Bouygues Telecom)  raised his arms over the Québec finish line just one second before a group of fourteen. Voeckler isn’t starting the races this year. C’est vraiment triste.

Information on each race coming in subsequent posts. A bientôt!

[9/8 update: Québec race story here, Québec Promises a Punch.]

Grand Prix Cycliste Québec Montréal 2011 logo

SpiderTech riders for Grand Prix Cycliste Québec [updated September 8, 2011]

Canadians: François Parisien, Ryan Anderson, Zach Bell, Martin Gilbert, Svein Tuft, Ryan Roth, Will Routley. American: Patrick McCarty.

Other Canadians expected to race in Québec and Montréal

Ryder Hesjedal (GRM), Michael Barry (SKY), Dominique Rollin (FDJ), David Veilleux (EUC)

Teams racing at the Grand Prix Cycliste Québec and Montréal [start list as of September 8th here, page 2]

  • AG2R La Mondiale
  • Astana
  • BMC Racing
  • Euskaltel-Euskadi
  • Garmin-Cervelo
  • Katusha
  • Lampre-ISD
  • Leopard-Trek
  • Liquigas-Cannondale
  • Movistar
  • Omega Pharma-Lotto
  • Quick Step
  • Rabobank
  • RadioShack
  • Saxo Bank Sunguard
  • Sky Pro Cycling
  • HTC-Highroad
  • Vacansoleil-DCM
  • Cofidis
  • FDJ
  • Europcar
  • SpiderTech p/b C10.
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