May 28, 2009 ( Saint-Georges, QC) — The 24th Tour de Beauce is planning to welcome 18 teams, made up of more than 130 riders, to the starting line this coming June 9. The organizers are more than satisfied with the teams selected as much by their number as by their quality, and anticipate that the calibre will be a notch higher than last year, while presenting a consistently strong pack made up of several teams able to win the race.
Canada is once again well-represented with 3 teams including 1 UCI Continental team. Planet Energy, under the leadership of Steve Bauer will have, as captain, the Quebecois FranÃ§ois Parisien as well as several talented cyclists. The Quebec Team will also be one to watch with a selection of some of the best climbers in cycling. Completing the Canadian delegation will be Garneau-Club Chaussures.
The United States will represented by a strong delegation : Team Type 1 lead by Canadian Gord Fraser, with Valery Kobzarenko, the 2006 winner of the Tour de Beauce, the Pro-Continental BMC team, Kelly Benefit with David Veilleux, and the Continental Development teams Trek-LIVESTRONG, Holowesko Partners/Felt, Garmin U23, and DLP Racing.
Among the foreign teams are the returning German Sparkasse team and Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk from England. Add to them the Continental teams Azad University from Iran, Australian Ride Sport and Fly V, with the latter including Charles Dionne from Quebec and Ben Day, the winner in 2007, Colombia es Pasion Cafe from Colombia, the Latvian and Eritrean National teams, as well as KUK-Kinesis, English selection.
Organizers of the Tour de Beauce return this year with a tested formula for some courses, as several of last year’s layouts will be revisited by the cyclists. Nevertheless, riders will find a few modifications along the way, notably with the addition of the Thetford Mines / Thetford Mines stage.
The debut of the 24th Edition will take place on a proven course for the Lac-Etchemin / Lac-Etchemin stage, a 165-km warm up, which heads north in the region of Bellechasse.
Wednesday, June 10, the organizers are introducing something new this year with the arrival of the Thetford Mines / Thetford Mines stage. Riders should look forward to quite a challenge in the first half of this 161-kiometre stage that highlights the lakes and mountains of the towns surrounding Thetford Mines.
Next, the competitors will have to face the monster climb of Mont Megantic during the 3rd stage on Thursday, June 11, starting in St. Georges and culminating at an observatory perched on top of the highest paved road in Quebec. It’s likely that the first to reach the top of Mont Megantic will also be leading the overall standings at the close of the 2009 Tour de Beauce!
As in the past, Friday, June 12 will be an important day for the cyclists, starting in the morning with a 20-km individual time trial over the same course to be used later on in the summer for the Canadian Championships. In the evening, the whole population is again invited to the Criterium which will be held in the downtown area of St-Georges. Starting at 6:30 pm, the riders will travel 40 laps on the 1.5-km course.
The weekend fare will have Quebec City welcoming the next-to-last stage, starting at noon on Saturday, June 13, near the Parc de la Francophonie, on Grande-AllÃ©e. A 13.9-km downtown loop, covered 9 times, will guide the cyclists on the descent of the Sillery hillside and along the river before attacking the “CÃ´te de la Montagne” Street.
After giving quite a show to the Quebec City crowds, the competitors will wind up the 24th Edition by pedaling their last to the applause of the Beauce fans during the traditional 11-km circuit in downtown Saint-Georges. It will be at the end of the 12th lap that the winner will be crowned.
The Tour de Beauce, the number one men’s international cycling event in Canada, is proud to welcome back its loyal partners Hydro QuÃ©bec, Desjardins, Le Georgesville and Groupe Procycle, under its Rocky Mountain brand, as major sponsors of the 24th Edition.
Adding to these major partners is the invaluable support of the Canadian and Quebec governments through their associated ministries. The event will be able to count on contributions from the provincial Bureau de la Capitale Nationale, Tourism Quebec and the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports at the provincial level as well as the Canada Economic Development and Human Resources and Social Development Canada federal agencies.
With their services, several official and local sponsors such as Thule, iclic, Pedros, Champion System, Pepsi Alex Coulombe, Image de Mark, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, IGA Extra, St-Georges Toyota, Rogers and Carrefour St-Georges will allow us to present a high-quality event.
We also recognize the essential contribution of our media partners who widely promote the event: the stations of Radio-Beauce Cool FM 103.5 and Mix 99.7, the Le Soleil newspaper, CHOI Radio X 98.1 as well as the publicity poster networks Look and Zoom MÃ©dia.
In addition, it is important to emphasize the excellent cooperation of several municipal and provincial organizations, in particular the host cities of Saint-Georges, Quebec City, Thetford Mines and Lac-Etchemin as well as Mont MÃ©gantic National Park. To these public organization is added the CLD Beauce-Sartigan who is a major contributor to the success of the Tour.
The organization would equally like to acknowledge the cooperation of all the towns passed through, the SÃ»retÃ© du QuÃ©bec, the municipal police forces of Saint-Georges, Thetford Mines and Quebec City and, in particular, the Quebec Minister of Transportation, who allow the creation of international calibre routes.
Lastly, we would like to thank the numerous companies in the area who play a role by participating as Friends of the Tour de Beauce, and to all the volunteers who work so that the event runs smoothly.
For more information visit www.tourdebeauce.com.