Preview GP Québec and Montréal with Herman Frison and Tony Gallopin
Yesterday, the Lotto Soudal selection left for Canada. Later this week two WorldTour races are scheduled there, the GP Québec on Friday and the GP Montréal on Sunday. Both races take place on a closed circuit. Most of our riders will directly head to Richmond afterwards for the World Championships team time trial.
The Grand Prix Cyclist Québec starts Friday at 11:00 am local time (17:00 CET) and consists of sixteen laps of 12.6 kilometres, a total distance of 201.6 kilometres. Each lap 186 altitude metres will be covered, that’s a total of 2976. There are four short hills on the course: Côte de la Montagne, Côte de la Potasse, Montée de la Fabrique and the last straight line Grand Allée. Last year Simon Gerrans won the race, but the Australian doesn’t start this year as he is riding the Vuelta at the moment. A group of nineteen riders fought for the win in 2014; Tony Gallopin got ninth.
Two days later, the peloton moves to Montréal for 17 laps of 12.1 kilometres, 205.7 in total with 3893 altitude metres. The three hills on the course are longer than in Québec: Côte Camillien-Houde, Côte de la Polytechnique and Avenue du Parc. Also in Montréal Gerrans was the best last season, ahead of Rui Costa and Tony Gallopin.
Sports director Herman Frison: “Benoot, Gallopin, Roelandts and Wellens should all be able to set a good result on those courses. That also means that I can only be satisfied when we at least animate the finale and get a top ten in both races. Montréal is supposed to be harder than Québec, but when you see that Robert Gesink won the race in Québec two years ago, it’s clear that both races are selective. Often we get into the final lap with 80 riders, but a much smaller group arrives at the finish together. The fact that the races are only 200 kilometres long makes the race stays closed for a long time and that more riders can compete for a good result.”
“Québec is a very nice course, perfect for a World Championship, but also Montréal is nice. This is modern cycling: you have the monuments, but also a new set of races like Hamburg, Plouay and these Canadian races. They take place in a smaller area, which makes it nice for the public, are a bit similar to the concept of a World Championship and are tough enough to get a selection.”
Tony Gallopin: “I’m ready to race in Canada, and to ride the team time trial and the road race at the World Championships. After the Tour I had to take some rest for my knee, but that problem is solved now. I couldn’t ride San Sebastián but that means I’m fresher now and very motivated for September, which is an important month. I restarted competition with the Olympic test event in Rio, the GP Plouay and Brussels Cycling Classic. Together with training rides that should be sufficient.”
“In Québec and Montréal you often think the race is decided, but each time the race starts all over again. Just like last year, I want to ride the finale twice. I love that type of races: a closed circuit, tactical, tough finishes,… The past years I was always there to race and I feel that I’m still making progress. And of course I’m already thinking about what comes afterwards. With the World Championships and Lombardia there are two more races coming up in which I want to perform well.”
Selection Lotto Soudal: Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Stig Broeckx, Tony Gallopin, Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.
Sports director: Herman Frison