Canada's Tour de Beauce begins later today in Saint-Georges, Quebec and it's fitting that one of the most decorated cyclists in the nation's history - Steve Bauer - will lead a Planet Energy squad capable of making a mark on home turf during the six-day stage race.
"Bauer is bringing a strong team here," said Francis Rancourt, event general manager. "We are very happy with the teams who are coming and we have two past winners here. We would like to have a couple more teams but I think there will be five or six who can battle for the overall. We have one new stage and the old ones are really challenging, with the same decisive climb over Mont Megantic in stage three."
The Tour de Beauce welcomes a total of 18 teams. American-based squads Team Type 1, with 2006 winner Valery Kobzarenko in its ranks, plus Felt-Hollowesko Partners-Garmin, Kelly Benefit Strategies and DLP Racing are making the trip. Overseas teams include Fly V Australia - with 2007 winner Ben Day - plus British outfits Rapha Condor, Recycling UK and KUK Kinesis. Canadian teams include the aforementioned Planet Energy, the national road squad, the Quebec Provincial Team and Garneau Crocs.