We take a look ahead to a pair of one-day WorldTour races in Canada on Friday and Sunday: the GP de Québec and GP de Montréal

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The UCI WorldTour heads to Canada at the end of this week for the pair of one-day races known collectively as the Laurentian Classics: the Grand Prix de Québec and Grand Prix de Montréal.

The only events from the World Tour to take place on North American roads, both races have attracted star studded fields in recent years, with the likes of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-BikeExchange) all claiming wins since the races’ inauguration in 2010.

This year, world champion Sagan returns along with Olympic road champion Greg van Avermaet (BMC), while a strong roster of British riders including Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) will also be vying for honours.

>>> Geraint Thomas back in action in Canada this weekend

First up on Friday, September 9, is the GP de Québec, a 16-lap circuit race in and around the city of Québec featuring a trio of very short but steep climbs at the end, and a four per cent drag to the finish line.

Two days later on Monday is the GP de Montréal on Sunday, September 11, where the same riders will this time race for 17 laps of a 12.1km circuit, with a slightly more challenging parcours including a longer climb of nearly 2km at the start and a sharp rise to the finish.

Both races tend to suit the kind of punchy riders with quick sprint finishes that excel at spring’s Ardennes Classics, with the GP de Québec usually being contested by reasonably-sized group sprint finishes, and the GP de Montréal offering more for breakaways.

Race stats

GP de Québec
Friday, September 9
201.6km distance
2976m total ascent

GP de Montréal
Sunday, September 11
205.7km distance
3893m total ascent

GP-Quebec-map-profile-2016

gp-montreal-map-profile-2016

Click on maps to enlarge

Riders to watch

Peter Sagan, Tinkoff
In what will be among his last races as defending world champion, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) will be looking to end in style what has been an astounding season in the rainbow jersey. He won in Montreal three years ago, and his ability to both attack in the hills and wait for the sprint make him a prime candidate for both races.

Greg van Avermaet, BMC
The Belgian rider has long been a consistent performer in all types of one-day classics, as reflected in his record in these races – twice he’s made the podium at Quebec, as well as a further four top ten finishes in both races compound. His recent gold in Rio marks his development into a world class rider, and he’s more than capable of improving from his near misses in recent years to win.

Julian Alaphilippe, Etixx-QuickStep
Having arrived in Canada this time last year far from his top shape, Alaphilippe returns with the hope of doing well in two races he looks ideally suited to. If he can retain some of the form that saw him impress at the Tour de France and finish fourth at the Olympic road race, he’ll be a contender to win both, especially if either race boils down to a sprint.

Peter Sagan wins Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal 2013

Peter Sagan won the Grand Prix de Montreal in 2013

Adam Yates, Orica-BikeExchange
Since narrowly missing out on the win in Montreal to Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 12 months ago, Yates’s career has taken off, most notably through his ride to fourth overall at the Tour. It’s unclear how his young legs will respond so soon after that huge effort, and sprinter Michael Matthews could be a better option for Orica-BikeExchange.

Bauke Mollema, Trek-Segafredo
Of all the contenders for both races, Bauke Mollema perhaps boasts the best form – he put in a brilliant attack to win San Sebastian off the back of a solid eleventh overall at the Tour de France, and since then he’s already acclimatised himself well to Canadian conditions by winning the time-trial and finishing second overall at the Tour of Alberta.

TV guide

Friday, September 9
Eurosport Player: GP de Québec LIVE, 3-9.30pm
Eurosport 2: GP de Québec highlights, 10.20-11.20pm

Sunday, September 11
Eurosport 2: GP de Montréal LIVE, 7-9.25pm

Live data

Velon will be teaming up with the race organisers to bring live rider biometric data via it’s app and website. You can find more about the Velon live data on their site here.

Previous winners

GP de Québec
2015 Rigoberto Uran
2014 Simon Gerrans
2013 Robert Gesink
2012 Simon Gerrans
2011 Philippe Gilbert
2010 Thomas Voeckler

GP de Montréal
2015 Tim Wellens
2014 Simon Gerrans
2013 Peter Sagan
2012 Lars Petter Nordhaug
2011 Rui Costa
2010 Robert Gesink