Last year, there was hope that the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec and Montréal would go on despite the pandemic. Sadly, the event, like many others, was ultimately rescheduled to September 2021.
On June 10, 2021, Événements GPCQM (the organizers of the GP Québec and Montréal), announced that it would once again not be able to guarantee safety for the public-health and operational requirements of the event, and the 2021 races were officially cancelled.
The Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal, the only UCI WorldTour events held in North America, were set to take place on Sept. 10 and 12 2021. Événements GPCQM said that it made a thorough analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, both in Canada and internationally, and came to the conclusion that it would not be feasible to hold the races in a safe manner.
“Over the last few months, we have been considering different scenarios in constant liaison with the governments involved and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), in the hope that we could organize our races in compliance with health protocols and ensuring everyone’s safety,” says Sébastien Arsenault, President and CEO, Événements GPCQM. “As of today, the organizers of major Canadian events still have no guarantees that the public health regulations needed to hold the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal will be in effect at the end of the summer. There are still too many uncertainties regarding the opening of borders, mandatory quarantine and conditions for large gatherings.”
“This is a difficult decision to make for a second year in a row, but it would not have been responsible or respectful of the racers, teams and spectators to postpone this decision any further. We look forward to seeing them next year and promise a memorable return of the UCI WorldTour to Canadian soil.”
Along with the Grand Prixs, the Critérium National de Montréal, also organized by Événements GPCQM in conjunction with its UCI WorldTour races, will not be held as planned on September 11.
Hope for coming years
While disheartening, the cancellation of the 2021 event does not mean the end of the Quebec races. Événements GPCQM confirmed that the 2022 UCI Road International calendar was accurate: the two races will return on Sept. 9 and 11, 2022.