Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) will return to the Grands Prix Cyclistes Quebec City and Montreal, held on September 9 and 11, to defend their respective titles. Also headlining the 168-rider field will be sprinter Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange) and Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo), in the last races of his career before retirement.
Last year, Uran pulled off a surprise late-race attack to win the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, going solo with 500m to go and then holding off a chase from the sprinters behind. Matthews edged out Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) in a photo-finish for second place.
Under pouring rain, Wellens won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal, taking the victory from a two-up sprint against his late-race breakaway companion Adam Yates. Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) won the chase-group sprint for third place.
Both riders will no doubt aim to repeat those performances during this year's editions of the events but will once again face tough fields.
Simon Gerrans and Robert Gesink have won both the GP Quebec City and Montreal. Past winners in Montreal also include Peter Sagan, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Rui Costa, while Philippe Gilbert and Thomas Voeckler have also won in Quebec City.
"Québec City and Montréal are fantastic races; they're both challenging and spectacular, perfectly organized, and with huge, enthusiastic crowds," Gerrans said.
"Both races have been important in my career. I have three wins and, most memorably, I managed the Québec City–Montréal double the same year, 2014. That was a dream week. Every time I ride these races, I'm just so pleased to be there and competing hard in these beautiful cities."
There will be 18 WorldTour teams on the start lines in Quebec City and Montreal, along with Team Canada and two Professional Continental teams; Bora-Argon 18 (Germany) and Direct Energie (France).
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