After a forced break in 2018 due to the holding of the G7 in Charlevoix, the Grand Prix cycliste de Saguenay will return in 2019, but it will be held a week later than usual, from June 13 to 16, inclusive.
In a telephone interview, the new DG of the event, Simon Ouellet, explains that this difference of one week for the GP de Saguenay and Tour de Beauce (June 19 to 23,) will allow canadian Championships (road) the following week (28 and 29 June), which will be held in Beauce, on the contrary. It was also the wish of the international cycling Union (UCI) to ensure that the national Championships of each country are held all during the last week of June.
Simon Ouellet sees an eye out this shift of one week. “I think it’s a bit of the best situation to be in because after that, it is the end of the week of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste “, claims the one who succeeds Gaetan Larouche, which had been in post for 2014, since the first edition of the GP de Saguenay.
This additional week will also be used to refine the route and the places that would need a response from public works.
Ouellet, who was assistant to the DG last year, is preparing to send invitations to the different teams. “I work a lot with the organization of the Tour de Beauce and its DG, Francis Rancourt, to try to attract good teams. If we managed to attract the big team, the rest will follow “, he explains. In fact, for many teams, it becomes more advantageous to make a hook in Quebec for two races cyclists to scale that to a single. Obviously, therefore, there was no teams confirmed for the edition in 2019 for the moment.
This difference of one week is not expected to have any impact on the army of volunteers who ensures the smooth running of the event.
“We have such a strong team of volunteers and leaders, and trained to their case that this is not a stressful aspect for me. It’s been two or three years that I am in the organization, and I well-known these people, ” said the DG who may actually rely on teams of volunteers faithful to the appointment and well-oiled.
Last year, in the absence of being able to hold the Grand Prix de Saguenay, the organization had hosted the canadian Championships in cycling and para cycling road at the foot lifted, after the withdrawal of British Columbia.
With just the troops well-run, the organization’s saguenay region has risen to the challenge with gusto, which has earned him the praise of Cycling Canada and the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC).
“We have been invited to submit our bid to the national Championships this year, but we have not applied (due to the holding of the GP de Saguenay),” he concluded.
Lastly, Sébastien Gagnon and Steve Potvin continue to assume the co-chairmanship of the GP de Saguenay.