June 06, 2013 (Saguenay, QC) – Friday, the Coupe des Nations – Ville de Saguenay’s 6th edition will kick off with 12 national teams and 3 continental squads that will form the peloton and take over Saguenay’s roads.
A total of 13 countries will be represented, amongst which road cycling major nations such as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States. Netherlands, Slovenia and Norway also figure amongst the countries worth mentioning. “These are teams with great riders” said the race director, Pierre Hutsebaut.
Unlike previous editions, competitors will participate to three stages rather than four. “This will force riders to attack stronger right from the start, he analyzed. Races on Saturday and Sunday are generally won at the sprint. Tomorrow’s stage will be decisive!”
This competition holds great importance for riders aged between 19 and 22 years old. Under the magnifying glass of professional teams’ recruiters, the international series also awards the overall winning team an extra spot for the Worlds.
But in more short terms, this event serves as a preparation for the National Championships. “Two weeks before the National Championships, it is the perfect occasion to test the aspiring champions’ form” he underlined.
The little story of a big adventure!
In its desire to globalize road cycling, a sport of European tradition, the International Cycling Union (UCI) slowly started to woo established organizations outside of Europe. The UCI was notably looking for a place to present one of the stops of the prestigious U23 Nations’ Cup, a World Cup type of circuit. To do so, they reached out to an experienced organizer, Roger Filion.
With the complicity of Bernard Noël, municipal counselor, and the City of Saguenay, this international caliber competition was going to cross the Atlantic. Indeed, the City jumped in with both feet on the incredible opportunity that was being offered. Thus, in 2008, Saguenay was for the first time welcoming some of the world’s best hopes in road cycling. To this date, many of the best cyclists under 23 years old still meet here in order to battle for the coveted title at stake.
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