The junior cycling calendar in Canada will be one race short in 2019. Le Tour de la relève internationale de Rimouski, a five-stage race for cadets and junior women, has been cancelled. The organizers cited a lack of local interest in the event and not having enough volunteers as the key reasons the race would not be put on this year.
The 2018 edition of the junior women’s race featured a strong lineup. The race was won by Simone Boilard who would go on to earn a bronze medal for Canada at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck. Magdeleine Vallieres Mill who represented Canada at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Bogense was second and Kaitlyn Rauwerda who represented Canada in Innsbruck was third.
The decision to cancel the race came at a general meeting of the race organizers. The future of the race beyond 2019 is still uncertain and the organizers are going to take their time before making an announcement. The race would have been celebrating it’s 10-year-anniversary in 2019.
The race was cancelled for two primary reasons. The difficulty of finding administrators for the race’s board of directors and other volunteers who could significantly be involved. They also cited the lack of local athletes from the region participating in the race as a reason running the event in 2019 would not be possible.
The five-stage race had a cadet category for riders 15 and 16 years old as well as a junior women’s category for racers 17 and 18 years old. The event was organized to prepare young athletes for international junior races and give them a stage race experience like the Tour de France. The race was an important stepping stone for young riders from Quebec and North America. The ninth edition of the race ran from July 4 to 8 of last year.