UCI World Tour: Analysis of Canadian Grands Prix cycling races
UCI World Tour, cycling

UCI World Tour: Analysis of Canadian Grands Prix cycling races

This year sees the two Canadian Grands Prix return to the UCI World Tour schedule for the first time since 2019.

The Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal were added to the schedule in 2010 but were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.

The action starts on September 9 in Quebec before moving to Montreal two days later. Both races start in mid-morning and finish at 4:15pm.

The Montreal course is the more punishing of the two and requires an earlier start, with almost 20km more to cover and with a greater variation in altitude.

Australian Michael Matthews will be looking forward to the trip, having won at both venues in 2018. This was not his only enjoyable visit to Quebec, having also won the race in 2019 and finishing third in 2017, making him the most successful rider in its history. As he has been off the pace so far in the 2022 tour, these races could give his ranking a late-season boost.

The highly-decorated Slovakian cyclist Peter ‘The Great’ Sagan has also triumphed in both cities, with a combined six first and second-placed finishes spread evenly between them. Another one of the sport’s greats – the veteran Greg van Avermaet of Belgium – has fared well in Canada, particularly in Montreal where he finished first in 2016 and 2019.

With the rankings of these two legends even less healthy than Matthews’ though, we could well see a new face cross the line first in 2022.

Another Belgian – Jasper Stuyven – is currently the highest-placed rider on the UCI World Tour who has multiple top 10 finishes in the last three Quebec races. While he has yet to win here, he came third in 2018 and fifth in 2019, so would not require much of an improvement to register a first victory on Canadian soil.

Diego Ulissi looks well-placed to build on his 2017 win in Montreal, having regularly finished at the front of the pack. The Italian also finished as runner-up in 2019, seventh in 2018 and third back in 2016.

Ulissi has also ended four races in Quebec as one of the top 10, so could potentially become the third rider in history to win both UCI World Tour events in Canada in the same year, emulating Matthews’ 2018 double and that of Simon Gerrans in 2014.

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