The challenging GP Québec may have lost two of its main media attractions - Cadel Evans (BMC) and Andy Schleck (RadioShack) - but the first of the two Canadian WorldTour races has still attracted a top level field of international cycling stars. Tour de France green jersey winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas) and Norwegian finisher Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) are the event's main favourites, together with Thomas Voeckler (Europcar).
Both Sagan and Boasson Hagen claim that the demanding circuit race in Quebec city, which involves several short but steep ascents, suits them perfectly. Still, Sagan admitted that he felt uncertain of his form at the end of what has been a breakthrough season for him. "The course suits me, but it will depend on how I feel," the 22 year-old Slovak told La Presse.
"It has been difficult to keep my form after the Tour de France. I had a short break but then I trained well. My form is on the rise, but it will only be at the Worlds that I'll be at the top."
Sagan pointed at Boasson Hagen as his main rival, who won the GP Plouay in France recently. The Norwegian also got second at the GP Québec two years ago, and has showed himself more confident of his victory chances.
"The course suits me perfectly," Boasson Hagen told Radio Canada upon is arrival in Canada. "It's good to be one of the favourites. I feel good, and I look forward to the racing."
But the Sky rider too was aware of the high quality of the participating field. "The competition will be difficult, there are other guys who are very strong," he added. "I hope I can waste as little energy as possible throughout the race, and stay to the front as much as possible."