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WATCH the VIDEO – Québec Singletrack Expérience Offers Unique MTB Stage Race in 2017

by Ben Andrew

November 03, 2016 (Quebec City, QC) – Groupe Pentathlon recently announced the launch of the Québec Singletrack Expérience (QSE), a unique international mountain-bike stage event in 2017 to be held July 29-Aug 5. The organization also manages the highly successful Pentathlon de Neiges, with over 5,800 participants at the 2016 edition.

Beginning as a mountain bike club in the Quebec City region Groupe Pentathlon has a strong history in cycling. In fact their Pentathlon de Neiges event was originally designed for winter cycling, so their new Singletrack Experience is a fitting return to their roots.

General Director François Calletta believes that the QSE will have a similar winning formula as the other events Groupe Pentathlon organizes. “Incredible riding on professionally built trails, in close proximity to an UNESCO world heritage treasure: Quebec City! The single hub will offer simple and relaxed logistics where family and friends can be part of the fun,” says Calletta.

Calletta also highlights the value of the event, which is competitively priced compared to other popular mountain-bike stage events. “We offer the best quality price ratio in the market. At $1,500 for the complete base package (race, daily transfers, bike management and all meals) it’s unmatched as the price is usually more than $2,500 for a similar package.”

 ©  Alice Chiche
Based in downtown Quebec City, the inaugural QSE will kick off at the end of July, bringing mountain-bike stage racing to the East Coast. The event will feature seven outstanding destinations in the area: Mont-Ste-Anne, Vallée Bras-du-Nord, Shannahan and St-Raymond sectors, Sentiers du Moulin, Lac-Beauport, Valcartier military base and Lac Delage.

The region is the backyard of Olympian Raphael Gagne (Cannondale 360Fly P/B Sugoi), one of Canada’s top national team members. Gagne is excited to share his local trails with the riders who will attend the race.

“The trails are right next to my home in Lac-Beauport near Mont-Ste-Anne, and are super-fun with a good mix of rocky, rooty and muddy sections,” says Gagné. “Very similar to Burke Mountain in Vermont or Hardwood Hills in Ontario, they’re fast and flowy.”

 ©  Alice Chiche
The Expérience, with its festive ambience, will surly attract some elite riders, but it will find broad appeal with avid mountain bikers and weekend warriors looking for a unique challenge on remarkable trails. Riders from the United States, Europe, and Canada have already registered for the event.

The program is made up of seven timed stages over the course of seven days, and will also include timed descents and timed climbs within the stages for riders to contest. Whatever your goal, riders will find the relaxed or competitive environment they are looking for. With 80% of the course on professionally made single track, and a visit to the UCI MTB World Cup in Mont-Sainte- Anne on the final day included in the package, the riding is sure to be epic. With its mix of terrain, Gange has a few equipment recommendations for participants.

 ©  Alice Chiche
“A cross country bike, with either 27.5” or 29” wheels would be ideal. It is always good to have full-suspension when marathon riding, but I don’t think it will be necessary for this event,” adds Gagne.

When setting out to create the QSE, organizers hoped to address two areas they felt could be improved with stage races of this kind: transfer time between stages, and time to change camps every night. Their answer was a permanent base camp. Three lodging options are available, including camping, the residence of Merici College, and the 4-star Chateau Laurier. A range of amenities will also be available on site including a canteen, showers, medical services, yoga, parking, entertainment, and an evening campfire.

 ©  Alice Chiche
“The fun about a permanent base camp is that it makes the experience so much more relaxing. No packing and unpacking, or need to wake up at 5am to take a shuttle to the next start line. Bike, chill and relax… and if you feel like it, go for a walk and discover charming Quebec City,” adds Calletta.

With a base camp set amidst the historic walls of Quebec City, and the rest of the bases covered this event is destined to be one to add to your bucket list. For more information, visit quebecsingletrack.com.

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