It's just one day until Canada's biggest men's road race, the Tour de Beauce, begins in Lac Etchemin, and already it appears as though this year's race will be a very tight contest. Running from June 13-18, the Tour de Beauce has attracted a quality field of riders, with teams travelling from Germany, Australia, Canada, United States, Netherlands, New-Zealand, Ireland, Mexico and Japan to compete.
Last year's winner Nathan O'Neill won't be defending his title after switching teams in the winter, but his former team, Navigators Insurance, will be riding, and with a couple of tricks up their sleeve they'll definitely be the driving force during the five days of racing.
Other teams competing include American squads Jittery Joe's - Zero Gravity, TIAA-CREF and new squad Priority Health, plus German outfit Sparkasse, Canadian crew Symmetrics, Australian teams SouthAustralia.com-AIS, FRF-Caravello and the DFL-Cyclingnews.com squad. Without one dominant team in the race, chances are that some new faces may make their way to prominence throughout the week after some tight racing.
The Tour de Beauce begins in Lac-Etchemin with a 155km stage before heading to the towns of Saint Joseph, St Georges, St Jean de la Lande, Québec and back to St Georges for a total distance of 821km.
Stage 1 - June 13: Lac Etchemin, 155 Km
Stage 2 - June 14: Saint-Joseph, 180 km
Stage 3 - June 15: St-Georges-Mont-Mégantic, 153 km
Stage 4a - June 16: St-Jean-de-la-Lande ITT, 15 km
Stage 4b - June 16: Centre-ville de St-George Critérium', 60 km
Stage 5 - June 17: Québec, 125 km
Stage 6 - june 18: St-Georges, 133 km