May 7, 2010 (Montreal, Quebec City) – Quebec’s cycling federation, the FQSC, held twin press conferences yesterday in the province’s two biggest cities to officially launch the 2010 season. Some 404 events are on the calendar (including 139 road, 117 MTB, 95 BMX, 21 recreational cycling, 12 cyclocross, 11 paracycling, and nine track races) announced Louis Barbeau, director of the FQSC.
The head table also included, Pol Dussaussois (coordinator: paracycling and recreational riding), Josée Robitaille (coordinator: road & track), Helene Soulard (FQSC board member), and Bruno Vachon (technical director: BMX & cyclocross). Several top Quebec riders were also in attendance and addressed the audience. Vision-impaired paracyclist Daniel Chalifour (tandem racing) proved made everyone laugh when he quipped about two of top riders present, Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech) and David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies) saying “that they could make very good tandem pilots.” Another top Quebec paracyclist, Rico Morneau, was also on hand.
Apart from promoting bike races, the FQSC also sees its role as working to promote the safety of all cyclists in Quebec. On this point, Soulard indicated that the FQSC has been invited by Quebec’s Transport Minister to join committee discussions on the province’s pending bike helmet legislation. The FQSC will propose different measures to encourage the ‘cohabitation’ of cyclists and motorists. [note: Velo Quebec vacated its seat on that committee as a sign of protest against the proposed legislation].
Barbeau claimed that Quebec’s cycling community is “spoiled” to have so many high profile UCI events on its calendar, pointing in particular to MTB World Championships at Mont Ste-Anne from Aug 30-Sept 5, the ProTour road races to be held in Quebec City and Montreal on Sept 10 and 12 respectively, and the paracycling Road World Championships to be held in Baie-Comeau Aug 19-22. He also spoke about Quebec’s other international events including the June 3-6 U23 Coupe des Nations, the June 12-13 Gatineau events, the June 15-20 Tour de Beauce, and the July 20-25 Tour d’Abitibi.
After the conference, Barbeau confirmed that the FQSC is working to make the June 13 Grand Prix cycliste de Gatineau into a replacement event for the two major women’s races (Montreal Women’s World Cup, Tour du Grand Montreal) that were cancelled for 2010. “It’s our intention to turn this event into a world cup race in 2011,” claimed Barbeau.
Tino Rossi and Marc Wayne Addison of Les Mardis Cyclistes also in the crowd told us that they will be holding a press conference on June 1st .
For more on the FQSC (in French) visit http://www.fqsc.net/.