Cycling Grands Prix of Quebec and Montreal: many Quebecers still dream of it

Quebec and Montreal cycling Grands Prix: several Quebecers in are still dreaming

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Like many cyclists in the city, Nicolas Côté has often trained on the famous Mount Royal circuit, but he will live his baptism of fire on Sunday in front of several supporters at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.

After Frenchman Benoît Cosnefroy's first career victory on Friday in Quebec City, the cyclists arrived in Montreal in anticipation of the start this morning of the second race which features 18 terrible climbs of the Camilien-Houde route. The weather is looking perfect once again.

For his part, Côté did not manage to finish the test in the Old Capital, but he savored every second despite the pain. The Canadian team also managed to place prospect Carson Miles in the breakaway of the day.

In hockey

Côté has the physique to distribute shoulder strikes on an ice rink, but it is on a bicycle that he now uses the power of his 6 feet and 3 inches.

He knows very well that the opportunities are rare to fight with the Houle and Boivin, especially at home in Montreal. His experience as a defender should help him a little since he does not plan to attack on the Polytechnique hill. 

“ I come from the world of hockey. I grew up very quickly and took a foothold in a summer. I had the sting in the critériums. I also did fixed gear, fixed-gear bicycle. It was my front door. I had a good punch. It allowed me to stand out and run a bit abroad, especially in Milan ”, explains the athlete from Saint-Bruno.

A gateway

Regardless of their age, several local talents have succeeded since 2010 in carving out a place for themselves in the peloton of the Grands Prix Cyclists, dreaming of a feat that will open their first door to the top.

While young hopefuls in their early twenties often head to Europe to complete their development, others a few years older are just trying to seize every opportunity that presents itself. At 26, Côté is inspired by James Piccoli and Michael Woods, late bloomers in cycling.

“I said that one day I was going to do this Grand Prix. I got there and it's amazing. I worked hard and had my first continental UCI pro experience this year. I raced in Romania and scored points in Greece. I hope for a promising future and I will have a lot of people to support me here. You have to be persistent,” adds the Quebec cyclist.

When announcing his retirement, Antoine Duchesne repeated it: “You have to believe in it. ” Côté got the message right. “When you put the time in, it's possible,” he says.

Far from the turmoil shaking the national team, the athlete wants to live an unforgettable experience in Montreal . 

A diploma

A few days ago, coach Dominick Gauthier, founder of B2ten, which funds athletes, said that the problem for Cycling Canada lies far beyond money.  

“  It is rather his attitude that borders on lack of respect for his best athletes , “wrote the former freestyle skier. Nicolas Côté prefers to talk about the importance of parallel academic training.

“Time flies very quickly. You have to seize the opportunities and you have to think about post-career. It's possible to combine sport and high-level studies,” concludes the cyclist who is studying mechanical engineering.

♦ Organized on the sidelines of the Grand Prix, the national criterium on the Avenue du Parc was won on Saturday by Charles Duquette, of the Macadam's Cowboys team, who took several bike lengths in the final sprint.

♦ The start of the Grand Prix Cycliste of Montreal will be given at 10 h 15 Sunday morning. The event consists of 18 laps for a distance of 221.4 km. Arrival is scheduled around 4:15 p.m. at Jeanne-Mance Park on Park Avenue.