This week, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be racing in three races on two different continents. While parts of the team are doing Vuelta a España and Tour of Britain, another part will line up at the two Canadian one-day races Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.
The first of the two races is Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, which takes place on Friday, September 8. Sixteen undulating laps of 12.6 km await the riders in the city center of Québec. The course includes several challenging uphill sections. Especially the last 3.5 km are tough with short but steep ascents before the last kilometer kick up with about 4 % all the way towards the finishing line.
Last year, Nathan Haas did well to finish in sixth place in the uphill sprint as Peter Sagan (now BORA-hansgrohe) took the win. With a strong lineup, able to fight for glory in many different scenarios, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka aims to be in the mix once again.
Only two days after Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, it’s time for the second race in Canada, Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. The 205.7 km take place over 17 hilly laps of 12.1 km with a total elevation gain of nearly 4000 meters. The beginning of each lap includes a 1.8 km ascent with an average gradient of 8 %. Several other uphill sections follow throughout the course before a fast descent leads the riders onto the last 500 meter of 4 % towards the line.
Haas was also the team’s top finisher in Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in 2016 when he placed fifth in the sprint won by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team). The Australian will be eager to fight for another top result this time.
Oli Cookson – sports director:
“Both of these races are like World Championships races. They wear you down and there is only so much you can plan. It all comes down to who has got the legs at the end. Last year, we proved that we can get close to the podium with Nathan [Haas] and that’s going to be the general objective again this year. We have great riders like Kristian [Sbaragli] and Reinie [Janse van Rensburg] who can be there in the final to help Nathan. We also have Steve [Cummings] who’s coming back from injury. He’s a rider you can never underestimate but the other riders also know that by now. He will have a free role but we will have to wait and see how he feels after coming back”.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg