Soon after the start the riders are in a park on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River – or Fleuve Saint-Laurent, as the French speaking people in Quebec prefer to call the river. After 4 kilometres the route drops to the river bank and continues on the Boulevard de Champlain, which is the flattest section of the race – between kilometre 5 and kilometre 9.
The last 3.5 kilometres of each round are toughest, beginning with the Côte de la Montagne, a 375 meters climb at 10%. Sure, the first round won’t hurt but this will be another story after ten rounds. Especially a 165 metres section at 13% will be no picnic.
On the narrow Rue de Remparts riders race the city walls, overlooking the port. 10.3 kilometres into each round done another short climb appears – 420 metres at 9%. After the peak of Côte de la Potasse a short descent may bring some relief, but mind you, no time to rest as the road rises once more with on the left and on the right the old houses of the city centre.
With 1.2 kilometre remaining the Montée de la Fabrique is crested after a 190 metres climb at 7%. Yes, that is short, but in the finale – after sixteen rounds – it will hurt like hell. Once at the top, the climbing is not done as the last kilometre rises at 4%.
Sixteen rounds with all these short climbs turns the Grand Prix de Quebec into a war of attrition.
Rigoberto Uran is title holder. Previous winners are Simon Gerrans (2012 and 2014), Thomas Voeckler (2010), Philippe Gilbert (2011) and Robert Gesink (2013).
Read also: results/race report Grand Prix de Québec 2016.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec 2016: Route, profiles and more
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