Each round begins in a park high above the banks of the Saint Lawrence River – or Fleuve Saint-Laurent, as the French speaking people in Quebec prefer to call the river. At kilometre 4 the route drops to the river bank and continues on the Boulevard de Champlain, which is the flattest section of the race – running from kilometre 5 to kilometre 9.
The last 3.5 kilometres are toughest, beginning with the Côte de la Montagne, a 375 meters climb at 10%. The first lap will be easy, but in the last this will hurt like hell. The steepest stretch is 165 metres at 13%.
The riders race the city walls on the narrow Rue de Remparts, which is overlooking the port. At kilometre 10 the next climb appears. Côte de la Potasse is 420 metres at 9%, quickly followed by a 190 metres climb at 7% on the Montée de la Fabrique. Once atop, the climbing is not done as the last kilometre rises at 4%.
Sixteen laps, sixteen climbs up these short and sharp hills; the Grand Prix de Quebec is a war of attrition.
Peter Sagan is title holder. Previous winners are Rigoberto Uran (2015), Simon Gerrans (2012 and 2014), Robert Gesink (2013), Philippe Gilbert (2011) and Thomas Voeckler (2010).
The Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec starts at 11:00 and the finish is expected around 16:15 – both local times.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec 2017: Route map, height profile, and more
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Streetview Rue des Jardins, Quebec