November 14, 2014 (Montreal, QC) – This Sunday will see a very unusual cycling race up Montreal’s 233m (764 ft) Mount Royal, pitting national team rider Lex Albrecht against former pro hockey player Georges Laraque. Albrecht, the current woman’s Quebec road and ITT champ, is petite, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Laraque, aged 37, is a former enforcer with the Montréal Canadiens hockey team, of Haitian origin, and stands 1.91 metres (6’ 4”) tall.
“What about picking on people your own size?” writes Albrecht on her blog. “Georges Laraque is probably 4 times bigger than me, is an adamant proponent of vegan-ism, and has an impressive 13-year NHL career that he finished off with the Montréal Canadiens in the bank. He is also convinced that he can beat me in a cycling race in Montréal…. Game on. I’m up for the challenge.”
“Georges and I are going to see who’s truly the fastest this Sunday November 16. We’ll be racing from the base of Mont Royal’s Camilien Houde climb. Who do you think will win? Let us know on Twitter (@Lex_Albrecht and @GeorgesLaraque) using hashtag #LEXvsLARAQUE”.
The race is on for 10 AM (but spectators are advised to arrive early), starting at the traffic lights at the bottom of Camilien Houde Way (Pedal believes that this is the corner of Park Ave.) with the finish line at the crest of Camilien Houde Way (above the lookout). This is part of the course used by the UCI WorldTour Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal race in September.
Albrecht, 27, is originally from Ontario, but has been living in Quebec for several years. She rode for Cascades-ABC Cycles in 2010, for Juvéderm Specialized Mazda in 2011, Optum in 2012, NOW and Novartis for MS in 2013, TWENTY16 in 2014, and is returning to Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies in 2015. She finished second at the 2014 Philadelphia Cycling Classic and competed at the Road Worlds in Ponferrada, Spain this past September.
Pedal has been unable to find information about Laraque’s cycling accomplishments, but the soft-spoken Laraque is also known for his defence of animal rights and work with the Green Party of Canada.