After an enforced three-year hiatus, the Tour de Beauce, North America’s largest professional cycling stage race, is finally back, returning to action June 14-18 in Canada.
The 35th edition of the Tour de Beauce will offer athletes an interesting combination of novelties and safe bets in terms of the routes that will take place during five stages, totaling some 673 kilometres.
The stage race considered one of the most important in North America stands alone on the UCI calendar. The peloton will have about fifteen teams, including nine from Canada and two from the United States.
“We have already had six to eight American teams, but the pandemic has also hit the cycling community in the United States, general manager Francis Rancourt explained. “The best teams went to Europe and the rest closed their doors. We also receive teams from Mexico and the Dominican Republic, but they don’t have money to travel with the increase in plane tickets.”
“It is our locomotive, illustrated Rancourt. It is the event that motivates volunteers to get involved. Volunteers are there for our other events because they know we have to keep them financially, but the Tour de Beauce is the reason they help us.
Rancourt could never have imagined that the Tour de Beauce would remain sidelined for three years. “In March 2020 we thought that everything would be fixed in June for our race, he stressed. It was not like that and we moved it to September without success. The same thing happened in 2021. We had big logistical problems in 2022 and we had to cancel the Tour. No one could have foreseen that we would have needed three years to find favorable conditions.
Despite the 10% increase in costs that increased the operating budget to $700,000, the Tour de Beauce did well during the enforced rest. “With the help of government programs, we came out honorably and got through it,” Rancourt summed up. For this year’s edition, we can count on the return of long-standing partners and new ones have been added, not to mention government programs and the participation of cities.”
The route will be very renewed, and as a particularity, it was announced that it will stop in Quebec for its fourth stage, with a two-kilometer circuit, which will be given 35 laps.