The WorldTour one-day Laurentian classics will see 16 Canadians on the start line from across the country. The races in Quebec City and Montreal are the perfect opportunity for Canadians to showcase their talent to their home crowd and WorldTour teams alike. With tough odds of winning the races outright, Canadians often race aggressively to make it into the breakaway. The others hang tight supporting their teammates and trying to make it across the finish line in hopes of getting a finishing result in the only WorldTour one day races in North America.
The 2018 edition should be no different and Canada should be able to have a strong impact on the races with a lot of Canuck firepower on hand. Here are the sixteen Canadians racing the Grand Prix Cyclistes de Quebec et Montreal:
Hugo Houle – Astana – Sainte-Perpétue, Que.
Not a frequent winner, Hugo Houle will likely play a supportive role for team leader Jakob Fuglsang at the GPCQM. Houle has shown good form as of late finishing in the top ten on numerous stages of the Tour Poitou-Charentes along with eight overall at the Tour of Denmark.
Svein Tuft – Mitchelton-Scott – Langley, B.C.
Likely racing his final events on Canadian soil, veteran Svein Tuft hasn’t made an appearance at Canada’s one-day races since 2012. A late call up to Mitchelton-Scott’s team replacing Mikel Nieve, Tuft will draw big cheers from the Canadian crowd and will likely be seen towards to front of the peloton controlling affairs for his teammates.
Guillaume Boivin – Israel Cycling Academy – Montreal
Returning from a knee injury, Boivin has landed in the top 20 on a couple of occasions in Quebec City. Israel Cycling Academy will likely be supporting Ben Hermans who rode very well to finish second overall at the Tour of Utah but Boivin will get his chance to sprint if he’s in the lead group in the final of Fridays race in Quebec City.
Benjamin Perry – Israel Cycling Academy – St. Catherine’s, Ont.
In 2016, Ben Perry won the king of the mountains classification in Montreal and found his way up the road on Mont-Royal again in 2017. A good candidate to go up the road, look for him to animate the race. He crashed at the recent Antwerp Port Epic but hopefully, those wounds will have healed up in time for his return to home soil.
Matteo Dal-Cin – Rally Cycling – Ottawa
An aggressive rider on his day, Matteo Dal-Cin was alongside Perry in 2017 and 2018 in the Montreal breakaways. A disappointing season by the 2017 Canadian road champions standards should see him motivated to make ammends by supporting Rally’s leaders. Whether that means in the peloton or up the road is to be seen.
Rob Britton – Rally Cycling – Regina
The 2017 Tour of Utah champion rode well at the Colorado Classic but was slightly off the pace in Utah this season. It’s hard to know what to expect from him in a one-day race but finishing in the peloton isn’t out of reach for the 33-year-old. When he’s let off the leash to ride in the breakaway he’s also proven to be dangerous as he did in 2017 helping Evan Huffman win two stages at the Tour of California.
Adam de Vos – Rally Cycling – Victoria
Adam de Vos is a breakaway specialist of sorts. He won a stage of the Tour de Langkawi from the break and Rally would love to see him get up the road in one of the WorldTour races. It’s his second attendance at the GPCQM after participating in 2015.
Nigel Ellsay – Rally Cycling – Courtney, B.C.
Rally have a five-strong contingent of Canadians at the Laurentian classics and Ellsay has the talent to ride well here. Third in the nationals road race, Ellsay can hang tight during a tough day in the saddle and he’ll be hoping to go better than in 2016 when he was a DNF in Quebec and didn’t start in Montreal.
Ryan Anderson – Rally Cycling – Edmonton
Ryan Anderson is the most experienced of Rally’s Canadians at the GPCQM. He’s had a quiet season but has been consistenly finishing tough races all season. Look for him to hang tough in the peloton and look for an opportunity to sprint if he makes it over the final climbs in Quebec City.
Alex Cataford – Team Canada (UnitedHealthcare) – Ottawa
Alex Cataford’s UnitedHealthcare team is without a sponsor in 2019 so he’ll be looking to put on a good ride as his future for next season has yet to be confirmed. Canada love to put riders into the breakaways so he’ll look for his opportunities there. Otherwise, a good week would see him finish both events while supporting his teammates.
Pier-André Côté – Team Canada (Silber Pro Cycling) – St.-Henri-de-Levis, Que.
Confirmed to move up to Rally next year, the young 21-year-old was the youngest rider in the races last year and rode in the breakaway in Quebec City. He’d love to do that again in front of friends and family. He’s had a remarkable season and his progression as a rider is notable so he’s capable of strong rides here.
Nicolas Zukowsky – Team Canada (Silber Pro Cycling) – Sainte-Lucie, Que.
Only 20-years-old, Zukowski rides the WorldTour races for the first time. It’s hard to expect much from a rider so young but if he’s called on to ride in the breakaway he’s capable of it. Otherwise gaining some experience and finishing the races will be top amoung his piorities.
Adam Roberge – Team Canada (Silber Pro Cycling) – Montreal
Another rider here for the first time and the under-23 Canadian ITT champion will be aiming to gain experience and look to showcase his skillset. Like Zukowsky, he rides for Silber Pro Cycling which so far doesn’t have a title sponsor for 2019 so could be looking for a new team.
Bruno Langlois – Team Canada (EC Velo Cartel) – Quebec City
At 39-years-old, the former Canadian road champion will be relied on to be the captain on the road for the young Canadian team. He always pulls out a good ride at his home races so he will be invaluable to the team as the pace ramps up lap after lap on the courses he knows so well.
James Piccoli – Team Canada (Elevate-KHS) – Montreal
A Montreal native, it’s no secret James Piccoli’s ambition has been to race at the WorldTour level on home soil. He won the Tour de Beauce on his way to earning his place on the Canadian team. There is no doubt he will burry himself infront of his home crowd in Montreal on a climb he knows so well. It’s worth noting that despite the WorldTour lapping the Camillien-Houde climb year after year, Piccoli holds the Strava KOM on the incline though he’s never been in the race.
Edward Walsh – Team Canada (T. Palm – Pole Continental Wallon) – Halifax
The 2018 Canadian under-23 national road champion and former Canadian junior champion will be one to watch in his first WorldTour races. His experience racing European calendars the past couple of years has given him the sort of power required to last in one-day races.