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Is WorldTour Racing Coming to Boston in 2017?

by John Symon
GPCQM’s Marcel Leblanc  ©  courtesy of GPCQM
April 14, 2016 (Aigle, Switzerland) – Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume met with UCI president Brian Cookson in Switzerland to discuss expanding the Grand Prix Cyclistes Québec et Montréal (GPCQM) WorldTour races into the USA reports Radio Canada. Cookson was “very open” to the idea of expanding the GPCQM according to Labeaume as cited in the report.

Serge Arsenault, the president of the GPCQM, is also quoted as suggesting either that twinning WorldTour races with Boston, Philadelphia, or Washington (DC) would be an extra argument to bring the world’s top riders to North America. Boston is the closest of these cities to Montreal.

“Of course this is nothing new,” said GPCQM VP Marcel Leblanc to Pedal. “Serge and I went down to Boston in 2010 to inquire about their interest in staging a WorldTour race there. But now we are also looking at Philadelphia or Washington or maybe some smaller cities farther north. One of the criteria is having a challenging race circuit with a hill which does not have to be huge.”

Leblanc says that the GPCQM has acquired a lot of expertise in putting on WorldTour races, but is interested in working with a US partner to put on races there. He also said that another WorldTour race in the USA would likely achieve some economies of scale for the Quebec City and Montreal races. Arsenault also sees benefits in terms of television coverage of cycling. Arsenault further believes a US race would bring economic benefits for Montreal and Quebec City.

Leblanc confirmed that Arsenault did not accompany Labeaume on his recent trip to Switzerland. He further suggests that Labeaume in Switzerland as part of his bid to have Quebec City host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Arsenault told Radio Canada that a WorldTour race in the USA could become reality as soon as 2017, assuming that local politicians are on board.

Leblanc said with the addition of one or two WorldTour races in the USA, the North American leg of the UCI calendar could “become almost as big as the spring races in Belgium.”

Arsenault also wants to see a criterium championship that would bring the best North American and European cyclists together for races. He also wants to develop a sprint event and make sprints an official UCI discipline with their own calendar. Arsenault wants cycling to truly become international instead of essentially a European sport.

And there could also soon be a feminine race in Montreal or Quebec City according to Arsenault.

Stay tuned to Pedal for further developments.

Radio Canada (French) here.


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