The organisers of the GP Quebec and the GP Montreal have confirmed that the USA’s Tejay van Garderen (BMC), current world champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Australia’s Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) will ride the one-day WorldTour races on September 12 and 14, with six of the current top 15 in the WorldTour rankings leading the WorldTour teams.
Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) is also set to return to action in the Canadian races after being unable to defend his 2013 Vuelta a Espana victory due to low cortisol levels after treatment for bronchitis. Horner will team-up with Costa to give Lampre-Merida two options for the hilly one-day circuit races.
Van Garderen will head to Canada buoyed by his USA Pro Challenge victory and join forces with Belgium’s Greg van Avermaert at BMC, with Pete Stetina and Brent Bookwalter also part of the team. Race organisers also announced that Edvald Boasson Hagen and Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky, while Tom Jelte Slagter, Tom Danielson and Alex Howes lead the Garmin-Sharp team. Alexander Kristoff will be chasing further WorldTour success after winning the Hamburg Cyclassics race, with Zdenek Stybar (OmegaPharma-Quick Step) back in action after his nasty crash at the Eneco Tour.
Costa is the first world champion to race in the five-year old Canadian races but is no stranger to the events, finishing on the podium in Montreal in 2011.
“These are tough, very beautiful circuit races. They’re ideal preparation for the World Championships but above all they are important for your palmares. Montréal was the first major victory of my career in a one-day race,” he said in a statement from the race organisers.
The two one-day races will be preceded by the Challenge Sprint Pro event that sees 24 sprinters in an evening elimination event over a one-kilometre course. Last year Bryan Coquard (Europcar) won the event and will be back to defend his crown.