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Quebec Cycling Awards 2016 – Athletes, Builders, Volunteers Honoured

by John Symon
Quebecers in Rio (l-r) Gabrielle Duchesne (for bro Antoine), Jacques Landry (Cycling Canada), Louis Barbeau (FQSC), Michael Drolet (Commissaire), Nicole Clermont (Para), Charles Moreau (in front - Para), Hugo Barrette (Track), Léandre Bouchard (MTB), Raphaël Gagné (MTB), Daniel Chalifour (Para), Jean-Michel Lachance (Para), Marie-Claude Molnar (Para), Audrey Lemieux (Para), Kirsti Lay (Track), Karol-Ann Canuel (Road), Eric Van den Eynde (Coach), André Michaud (FQSC)  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
November 24, 2016 (Bromont, Que.) – Over 300 people were in attendance at Quebec Cycling Federation’s annual awards brunch on Nov. 20 at the Chateau Bromont Hotel. More than 50 awards of distinction were awarded to athletes, builders, volunteers in cycling’s many categories and disciplines. This followed on the heels of five new inductees to Quebec Cycling’s Hall of Fame the evening before – see our report here.

André Michaud (FQSC President) presents the award to Hugo Barrette  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Some of the star cyclists in attendance on Sunday included Hugo Barrette (track), Léandre Bouchard (MTB), Karol-Ann Canuel (road),, Kirsti Lay (track), Mégane Bélanger (BMX), Gaby Malenfant (BMX), Cindy Montambault (MTB), Marie-Claude Molnar (para-cycling) and Charles Moreau (para-cycling). Many others were also honoured during the event MC’d by journalist Louis Bertrand. Antoine Duchesne (road) was absent but was represented by his sister Gabrielle.

Réjean Giguère (VP Finances) presents the award to Karol-Ann Canuel  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
There were many standout performances this year by Quebec riders including Karol-Ann Canuel (TTT gold at the UCI Road Worlds); Kirsti Lay (WTP bronze at the Rio Olympics and silver at the UCI Track Worlds); Ariane Bonhomme (Canadian U23 Women’s Road and ITT champ); and Charles Moreau (2 bronze at the Rio Paralympics). The entire men’s team at the men’s road race in Rio came from Quebec, composed of Duchesne, Hugo Houle, and Mike Woods.

Charles Moreau (Para-cycling)  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Moreau was part of the Para-cycling national team that brought back the lion’s share of medals (9 out of 29 total) from the Rio Paralympics – more than any other sport. All different age categories were represented and some mounting the stage were very young.

André Michaud (l) predents Louis Barbeau with the award  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
The awards ceremony also honoured FQSC director Louis Barbeau who has headed the Quebec federation since 1987 and is still going strong. The first to take the microphone and sing Barbeau’s praises was Serge Arsenault, organizer of the Grands Prix Cyclistes Montréal et Québec. He was followed by road cyclist Joelle Numainville (Cylance Pro Cycling in 2017) and para-cyclist Gary Longhi.

Serge Arsenault, organizer of the Grands Prix Cyclistes Montréal et Québec  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Arsenault tried to emphasize some of the challenges faced by cycling federation personnel, mentioning “that cycling is the most complicated sport there is.” He otherwise spoke of how Barbeau fared well in the face of adversity or ambiguity. Numainville revealed a more human side of Barbeau who always made himself available to talk to her and showed great concern with how she was doing after a concussion.

Réjean Giguère presents the award to Kristi Lay  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Lay, who brought back bronze from the Rio Olympics, told us that she is originally an Alberta girl and has only been living in Quebec for three years. “By coincidence, I also married a Quebecer three years ago,” she quipped. Lay spoke highly of the FQSC and the support it provides for cyclists.

One of the cyclists being honored was Michael Woods. Although he is usually thought of as being from Ottawa, Woods is a resident of adjacent Gatineau, QC.

Danielle Pepin, Federation des producteurs acericoles du Quebec  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

For the second year running, Maple Products from Quebec / Produits d’érable du Québec is an official partner of the FQSC. Fittingly, there were containers of maple water—a natural and nutritional source of energy–placed on each table at the awards brunch.

Wet snow greeted attendees as they left the event. This was a reminder that the FQSC runs a busy season, typically with some 400 events stretched over the calendar. The 2016 season closed on November 6 with the Maglia Rosa cyclo-cross championships.

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