The Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec drew crowds on Friday in the Old Capital, where fans gathered in their thousands, after two years of cancellation due to the pandemic.
At the stroke of 11 a.m., the excitement was at its height in front of the Parc de la Francophonie, on Grande Allée, where 147 of the best cyclists in the world took their places on the starting line.
At the end of the countdown announcing the start of the race, thousands of shouts from the crowd massed along the course rose in the air. “Go, go, go!,” shouted the crowd as the procession was already moving at high speed a few steps from the fences.
“We came from Sept-Îles to attend the event, it's really a passion for us! And it's impressive to see all these athletes pedaling in front of us! “, launches Paul Lebel.
” The last two years have been long, we couldn't wait for it to start again . We have come to each edition since the very first year, it's our little ritual,” says Steven Molinaro, a Frenchman who immigrated to Quebec 12 years ago.
The Hugo Houle Phenomenon
For the President and CEO of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec et Montréal, Sébastien Arsenault, it is a great success.
“ The clouds have moved away, the sun has arrived , the spectators are there, the atmosphere is palpable… What more could you ask for? We couldn't be happier at the moment “, he underlines.
For some, the phenomenon Hugo Houle, who won a stage of the Tour de France a few weeks ago , certainly has something to do with the strong craze this year.
“With our Quebecers performing well like this, we are proud. It's sure that it attracts more people when you can identify with athletes who put on a good show,” said Claude Genest.
< strong>Good for businesses
It's not just cycling fans who have been looking forward to the event for two years. For the merchants of Grande Allée, it's a godsend that they welcome with open arms.
« It's an event that brings in a lot of people at lunchtime and more late in the evening. We had a lot more people compared to the same period for the past two years,” explains Christopher Chouinard, owner of Le Grand Café restaurant.
“ that we have a good tourist and event clientele. There is definitely a buzz,” says Alexandre Grenier, co-owner of the Atelier, a few meters away.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128