Organisers of the Tour de Québec announced this week that their July race will be back to its original five-day format, thanks to a partnership with title sponsor Desjardins.
The race, scheduled to take place from July 25-29 will include a short prologue, two road races, one time trial along the St-Laurent River and two criteriums, one in St-Augustin and the final in Quebec City around the parliament.
The race began in 2008 as a five-day event, but in recent years has been shortened to a multi-stage weekend race. Past champions include Guillaume Boivin and Bruno Langlois, now with Spidertech, and Josh Dillon, now with BikeReg/Cannondale. This year marks the first time since 2009 the race will be contested for the full five days.
Participants are expected to include a mix of regional Quebec squads and international teams selected for the fifth edition of the race. Promoter Jean-Michel Lachance said, "We are still in discussions with over 20 teams among them, many from United States, but also France and Japan."
BikeReg / Cannondale sports director Stephen Weller has already confirmed that 2009 champion Josh Dillon will come back to defend his title. "In general, there is a great interest from all teams with the new program presented over five days and everyone is excited and looking forward to competing in our beautiful region," said Lachance
In addition to the men race, there is also a two-day women's race presented and masters categories during the weekend. In total, over 400 cyclists are expected.
2012 Tour de Québec
July 25: sprints - Rue St-Jean, Québec
July 26: road race - Île d’Orléans
July 27: road race - St-Joachim
July 28 (am): time trial – Promenade Champlain
July 28 (pm): criterium – St-Augustin
July 29: criterium – Quebec City parliament