Chavanel and Pineau to lead Quick Step in Canadian ProTour events
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chavanel and Pineau to lead Quick Step in Canadian ProTour events

by Conal Andrews at 4:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Riders flew yesterday from Paris to Canada

Chavanel PineauTour de France stars Sylvain Chavanel and Jerome Pineau yesterday left for Canada along with their Quick Step team-mates, ready to lead the squad in the two new Canadian ProTour events. Eight riders will represent the team in Friday’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, and Sunday’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal.

Chavanel won two stages in the Tour and wore the yellow jersey on two different occasions. Since then, he has taken seventh overall in the Tour du Limousin and also raced in the GP Ouest France and Sunday’s GP Jef Scherens. He’s happy with his condition and determined to see how he can do.

“We're all curious to discover these races. I've only been in Canada once, for the World Championships in Hamilton in 2003,” he said. “My form is good, improving considering the last races I participated in, in which I was a good player. We want to do well."

He and Pineau, who led the King of the Mountains competition for a several days in the Tour, will be joined by the climber Kevin Seeldraeyers, Dries Devenyns, Jurgen Van De Walle, Mauro Facci, Francesco Reda and Kevin Hulsmans. They flew out of Paris airport yesterday, giving them several days to get used to the time zone change and to check out the race courses. Davide Bramati will oversee the squad.

Both races will demand a lot of fitness and fighting spirit. The Grand Prix de Quebec takes in 15 laps of a tough 12.6 kilometre circuit, while the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal has the same number of loops but the circuit is half a kilometre shorter.

Technical director Charly Mottet said recently that he expected fireworks. “In Québec City, there’s a climb to the finish line,” he stated. “That’ll make it extra challenging and only the really tough riders will like it. The circuit is right in the city, so people won’t have to go far to see the race. It should be a great atmosphere.

“The Montréal circuit already has a lot of history,” he added, “with the 1974 Worlds, the 1976 Olympic Games and the Grand Prix des Amériques. People talk about Mount Royal, but the university hill and the little climb at the end are hard, too.”

The net result should be some very exciting racing. “These are two races that will really separate the men from the boys. A non-pro wouldn’t last more than five laps,” he said.

Chavanel plans to be one of the men in the races, and sees them both as goals unto themselves and also of significance in relation to a goal next month. “These are important races with lots of points in play for the ProTour standings,” he said. “The Canadian trip will be a further step for me to carve out a place at the World Championship in Melbourne.”
 

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