A new road stage race is in the making in Québec, Canada. The inaugural Tour de Québec will be taking place in and around Québec city next autumn. Even though it hasn't been announced officially yet, Canadian Pedal magazine reported the race to take place from September 4-7, 2008.
"According to our internal surveys, we expect to have at least 100 senior men coming from across Canada and USA," race organiser Jean-Michel Lachance was reported as saying. "We won't have any UCI classification for our first year and the Tour de Québec is open to all categories (junior and higher) but only senior men 1-2 riders will compete over the full four days. The other categories will race on Saturday and Sunday."
Five stages are planned for senior men, including a prologue. Cyclists in other categories will ride three stages over two days.
The event had originally been planned for 2007, but would have been sandwiched between the Tour de Beauce and the Canadian Road Championships, rendering the timing too complicated for the teams. Lachance found a better fitting in the calendar for 2008. "After a short survey of some teams, the dates of September 4-7 turn out to be pretty attractive to many of them. Furthermore, the weather at that time of the year tends to be pretty good," he added.
Currently, the only international stage road race in Canada is the Tour de Beauce, scheduled for June 10-15, 2008, planned to finish in Quebec City to commemorate the city's 400th birthday.
For more info on the Tour de Québec, visit www.tourdequebec.com.