Following on the heels on the Montreal World Cup, held last Saturday, the seventh edition of the UCI-rated Tour du Grand Montréal starts today. Representing 20 international teams, the 115 women will start the 5-stage, 4-day race including last year’s winner Oenone Wood (High Road).
High Road is coming in fully-loaded with World Cup leader and Montreal Would Cup Judith Arndt, US National Road Champion Mara Abbott, super domestique Kim Anderson and Wood. Hoping to break through the High Road juggernaut are Webcor with 2006 winner Christine Thornburg who finished 5th last year and Alex Wrubleski, Aaron’s with Mt Hood winner Julie Beveridge and climber Felicia Gomez, and Tibco led by Brooke Miller.
On the Canadian side, after a few years of absence in the cycling world, Clara Hughes is bringing her experience to the Specialized-Carrefour Multisports starting with Audrey Lemieux. Cascades with Julie Bellerose, and the Canadian National team are also hoping to have great results in their home race.
The first stage takes place on Monday, June 2 in Châteauguay. This new stage, about 25 km from the city of Montreal, and off the island of Montreal, offers a new road circuit of 5.7 km and 15 laps, for a total of 85.5 km.
The third and fourth stages take place on Wednesday June 4. In the morning, the women face the short individual time trial of just over 2.8km in René Lévesque park in Lachine. In the evening, a 50km criterium in the Little Italy district, a fun atmosphere.
The fifth and final stage takes place in the late afternoon in Mont-Saint-Hilaire. This five-lap-circuit totals 115 km and will have a new start/finish area on Chemin Osias-Leduc.