The organisers of the Québec and Montréal Gran Prix Cycliste WorldTour races have attracted a star-studded line-up for the sixth edition of the Canadian races, announcing that the 168-rider start list will include outgoing world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step), Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin), Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and British twins Simon and Adam Yates (Orica GreenEdge).
For many of the riders the one-day events on September 11 and 13 will be their final races before this year’s world road race championships in Richmond in the USA which begin with the team time trial events on September 20. Several riders will also ride the Tour of Alberta stage race in Canada between September 2-7.
Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) will continue his comeback and build-up for the world road race championships by riding in Canada, with Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) also a possible late entry after pulling out of the Vuelta a Espana due to illness.
Other stand out names on the start list include recent Eneco Tour winner Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky) -the winner of the Montréal GP in 2012, plus French riders Romain Bardet, Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Thomas Voeckler, Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), Arthur Vichot (FDJ) and Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin).
All 17 WorldTour teams have selected solid teams as they chase WorldTour ranking points. The three wild card teams invited to the race are Team Europcar, Bora-Argon 18 and Drapac Pro Cycling, with a Canadian national team completing the field. Ireland’s Sam Bennett leads the Bora Argon 18 team, while Will Clarke is listed for the Drapac team. The Team Canada squad includes former WorldTour rider Guillaume Boivin and Michael Woods (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits), who will ride for Cannondale-Garmin in 2016.
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) won both the Québec and Montréal Gran Prix Cycliste race in 2014, using his sprint to win on the uphill finishes. Gerrans will not be back to defend his victories as he is riding the Vuelta a Espana to work on his form after an injury-hit season.
“With the renewed backing from the cities of Québec and Montréal, we trust that we will once again live up to the expectations of the world’s greatest riders—especially given that the line-up for 2015 is one of the most homogenous we’ve had since the GPs were founded,” Marcel Leblanc, Vice-President of the Québec City and Montréal Gran Prix Cycliste said announcing the teams and riders for this year’s race.
“By organizing the Critérium National de Montréal, with high-level cyclists competing in both men’s and women’s races, we are completely fulfilling our role as a major player in the development of cycling in Canada.”
The teams and leading riders for the Québec and Montréal Gran Prix Cycliste:
Etixx-Quick Step: Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Tom Boonen (BEL), Rigoberto Uran (COL), Tony Martin (GER) and Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Team Sky (GBR): Lars Petter Nordhaug (NOR)
Movistar Team (ESP): Ion Izagirre (ESP) and Adriano Malori (ITA)
Team Katusha (RUS): Alexander Kristoff (NOR)
Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS): Michael Rogers (AUS) and Roman Kreuziger (CZE)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ): Jakob Fuglsang (DAN)
BMC Racing Team (USA): Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL)
Orica GreenEdge (AUS): Simon Yates (GBR), Adam Yates (GBR) and Christian Meier (CAN)
Ag2r-La Mondiale (FRA): Romain Bardet (FRA), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA), Jan Bakelants (FRA) and Hugo Houle (CAN)
Team Giant-Alpecin (GER): Warren Barguil (FRA) and Simon Geschke (GER)
Lampre-Merida (ITA): Rui Costa (POR)
Lotto Soudal (BEL): Tony Gallopin (FRA), Tim Wellens (BEL)
Trek Factory Racing (USA): Bauke Mollema (NED)
FDJ (FRA): Arthur Vichot (FRA) and Arnaud Demare (FRA)
Team Cannondale-Garmin (USA): Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) and Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (NED): Robert Gesink (NED)
IAM Cycling (USA): Matthias Brandle (AUT) and Matthias Frank (SUI)
Team Europcar (FRA): Thomas Voeckler (FRA) and Bryan Coquard (FRA)
Bora-Argon 18 (GER): Sam Bennett (IRL)
Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS): William Clarke (AUS)
Team Canada: Guillaume Boivin and Ryan Anderson.