Global Series of Gran Fondo in Victoriaville in September

This cycling event, organized in Victoriaville and the surrounding area, hopes to attract 1,000 to 1,500 amateur cyclists from Canada and the northeastern United States. Alexis Benard, the event’s co-founder, is optimistic.

He explains that there are encouraging signs with vaccination and dismantling activities. Our organization is a bit smaller, in a medium-sized city, so our logistics will likely be less complicated than many events. However, we will adapt to the situation when the time comes.

This competition will serve as the Canadian Championships for Masters, i.e. cyclists over 35 years old, and as qualifications for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships scheduled to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina next October.

The organization, which founded the Appalachian Classic in 2015, will present the first stage of the global Gran Fondo Series taking place in Quebec. These cyclo-sports events bring together athletes of all ages who want to outdo themselves in training and measure themselves in competition.

Registration is awaited over a 24 km and 131 km road race, with a vertical drop of 1,700 m, recorded at the beginning of September. Departures and arrivals will be in downtown Victoriaville.

Our routes present good challenges for more experienced runners who have been looking for a different route than the Quebec calendar. Benard explains that the region’s topography allows us to do this. The time trial course is very gradual, while the road race track will be an end-of-season challenge for many people and an opportunity to validate the practice hours.

We want the weekend to be the culmination of a season without a lot of sporting action in Quebec.

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Those who will be in the top 20% of the standings will also qualify for the World Championships. Victoriaville could one day host the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship.

We’re very happy to have a World Series for three years, but we’re letting ourselves dream bigger, and why not, hopefully one day we’ll host the Gran Fondo World Championships, adds Benard. We’re still dreaming, but we already have a very exciting event this year for cyclists from here and elsewhere.

A quartet of James Piccoli, Hugo Hall, Matthew Janis and Michael Woods in Classic des Appalachians.

Photo: Courtesy of: Alexis Pinard

Since the first Appalachian Classic took place in 2015, many of the big names in cycling in Quebec have come to cycle in the Bois-Francs.

The youngsters came to prove themselves and compare their enthusiasm to that of the adults, while the pros came to warm up for the world championship.

Thus, Michael Woods, Hugo Hall, Antoine Duchesne, James Piccoli, Lyn Bisset, Lex Albrecht, Joel Nomenville, and Simone Poillard, to name a few, have spinned this classic in the center of Quebec.

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