Over 150 junior 17-18 men from 25 teams will contest the 47th edition of the Tour de l’Abitibi Desjardins, in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue in northwestern Québec (Canada), 20-26 July. The Tour de l’Abitibi Desjardins is the only event of the UCI Juniors Nations Cup to be presented outside of Europe. During its 47 year history, the Tour has welcomed thousands of participants from 40 countries and continues to be an excellent way for aspiring cyclists to show themselves and hopefully move up the ranks.
Based on the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal and Quebec, a Challenge Sprint Abitibi will be held on Monday evening following the team presentation. A maximum of 32 riders will compete in a 800-meters sprint in a series of four elimination rounds, which will crown the champion of the Challenge Sprint Abitibi.
Racing starts on Tuesday July 21 with the 115.6-km from Rouyn-Noranda to Val-d’Or, and the 104.4-km stage 2 from Amos to Val-d’Or. Wednesday brings a split-stage day with the 10.6-km time trial in the morning followed by 51.5-km stage 3 in Malartic. A104-km circuit race of 13 laps in Lebel-sur-Quévillon follows on Friday afternoon. Racing ends with two more road stages, 93.7-km stage 6 on Saturday and 119.4-km stage 7 on Sunday.
The field includes seven national teams from Canada, Costa Rica, France, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, the United States; and 18 regional teams are equally split between Canada and the United States. In 2014, France claimed the overall victory (Rayane Bouhanni) and the points classification (Adrien Carpentier). To defend their titles, they will face stiff competition from the Team USA, currently ranked first in the UCI standings.
Classification jerseys awarded throughout the week of racing are:
- Brown jersey for the general classification
- Orange jersey for the points classification
- Polka-dot jersey for the climber’s classification
- Blue jersey for the best first year junior rider in the general classification
Teams at the Tour de l’Abitibi Desjardins
- National Teams: Canada, Costa Rica, France, Japan, Mexico, Morocco,United States
- Regional Teams (Canada): Québec, IAMGOLD-Specialized, André Cycle-Kaycan-RDS, Vélo club Métropolitain ABC Cycles junior, Espoirs Quilicot TRJ Télécom, Stingray Ultime Vélo-Trek, Ontario, L’échappé Bob cyclo St-Jérôme and High Perfomance (Britsh Columbia).
- Regional Teams (USA): Flagstaff Selection, Super Squadra Select, Arizona Select, Colavita Baci, Young Medalists, Washington SPIN Development Ccling Team, Team Novo Nordisk, Southeastern Regional Team and Hincapie Sportswear Development.