The 2018 Tour de Beauce starts on Wednesday with a 177-km stage in St-Georges, Que. The six-stage race is Canada’s most prestigious UCI men’s stage race and once again attracts a strong start list. “It’s always special to come back to Beauce. It’s one of the first big races I did way back in 2001. I have great memories from this race, and I believe it’s one of Canada’s most important races for the development of our younger riders. It’s a race that’s always difficult and has a European style to it,” said Svein Tuft who returns to Beauce in his final season.

Amongst the top teams are Holowensko-Citadel which brings defending champion Andzs Flaksis and T.J. Eisenhart. Team Canada fields a team lead by veteran Tuft, the last Canadian to win the overall in Beauce in 2008. Development team Axeon Hagens Bergen bring a young and dynamic squad while Rally Cycling counts four Canadians on their roster including last year’s stage winners Rob Britton and Matteo Dal-Cin. Alex Cataford starts on a strong UnitedHealthcare squad and Silber Pro Cycling brings four U23 riders on their all Canadian team for the race.

“Rob Britton is coming off a great Tour Of Gila and Tour Of California, so I am hoping he can challenge the overall here,” said Rally Cycling’s Canadian team manager Eric Wolhberg on his team’s goals for the race. “Colin Joyce almost doubled up in Winston Salem a couple weeks ago, and the rest of the guys are looking very good. We hope to continue the streak here, against a very competitive 2018 Beauce field.”

Stage 1 on Wednesday is followed by the iconic finish to Mont-Megantic on Stage 2, won last year by Dal-Cin from the breakaway. Stage 3a is a 19-km individual time trial which takes place in the morning and is then followed by 78-km road race on Stage 3b. Stage 4 is a 35 lap crit in Quebec City with the race wrapping up with a challenging 12-lap circuit race on Stage 5 in St-George on Sunday.

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