Grand Prix Cycliste recap

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Ryder Hesjedal (#31) appears to be eyeing Colombian Leonardo Fabio Duque's snack on the Plains of Abraham during the Grand Prix Cycliste in Quebec City.

photos by Tammy Thorne and Manny Pérez

We are absolutely thrilled to be able to introduce our readers to the world of professional cycling in our upcoming Fall 2011 issue. Ryder Hesjedal tells us what fuel powers him on a typical day in the saddle. Hesjedal is one of Canada's top international riders and is featured in our special extended centre spread: Fast Food – Tour vs. Street.

dandyhorse is no stranger to Canadian cycling elite racers. Michael Barry contributed to the Summer 2009 issue sharing his experience riding in the city of Barcelona with his wife, featured along side a gorgeous photo and story about his mother, Clare, called The Perfect Commuter.

In only its second year the Grand Prix Cycliste race already attracts top racers from around the world. The first race of the event took place in Quebec City on September 9, 2011 followed by the Montreal race on September 11, 2011.

Mike Barry and Ryder Hesjedal won "Best Canadian" riders in Quebec City and Montreal respectively during the Grand Prix Cycliste.

Subscribe today to get our Fall 2011 Food Issue at your door at the end of this month!

Here's a dandy look at this outstanding Canadian road racing event:

Grand Prix Cycliste

Quebec City

- Race starts and finishes at Grande Allée (Old Québec) near Place George V and the Armoury.
- 218 racers ride a 12.6 km circuit for 16 laps, a total of 201.6 km through and around the old city.
- Quebec City highlights: lots of steep hills and history.
- Riders raced for more than 5 hours.

RESULTS

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On Côte de la Montagne with a fan-filled bridge and Ryder Hesjedal in back on the right-hand side (red glasses on top). Here, the riders are just topping the steepest bit of Côte de la Montagne with a 13% gradient.

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Euskaltel-Euskadi teammates take different approaches to the climb up Côte de la Montagne. We think that is Samuel Sanchez in the back.

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That's dandyhorse contributor and beloved Canadian pro rider Michael Barry (all but his head visible) riding for Team Sky behind Christian Vande Velde for Garmin-Cervélo.

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Ryder Hesjedal in the back of the pack (red sunglasses) flanked  by his Garmin-Cervelo teammates.

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The powerful legs of Leonardo Bertagnolli.

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Ryder Hesjedal from behind (#31).

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Juan Antonio Flecha of Team Sky in front and GPCQC winner, Philippe Gilbert, in back.

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A brief moment of shade on a beautiful sunny day at the 12 km mark right before the finish line.

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Coming round the bend in the Plains of Abraham are Rigoberto Urán for Team Sky (who took 3rd in the Quebec event) and Garmin-Cervélo riders with Ryder Hesjedal in the back.

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Christian Vande Velde with his tongue out and Poland's Maciej Paterski for Liquigas-Cannondale near the finish line.

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When the red triangle flag flies riders know it's the last lap.

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Quebec City race winner, Belgian Philippe Gilbert, at the front of the peloton wearing his country's colours.

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Finish line with giant screen TV for the giant crowd and a view of city from a helicopter up on the screen.

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Philippe Gilbert raising his hands in victory on the big screen while fans cheer.

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The view from the Dufferin Terrace.

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Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac at sunset as seen from the St. Lawrence River.

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While the racers had to climb Quebec City's hills without motorized aid, spectators could hop aboard the Funiculair.

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Though for those inspired by the action the BIXI pilot project in Quebec City was at the ready.

MONTREAL

- 218 racers ride a 12.1 km circuit for 17 laps, a total of 205.7 km around/on Mount Royal in the heart of Montreal!
- Montreal highlights: Massive bike-loving throngs of people. Popularity of the sport growing immensely since the first year.
- Highlight for fans: Being able to take a BIXI everywhere.

In Montreal the peloton was huge but well outnumbered by the MASSIVE amounts of spectators. In a city where bicycles are easily integrated into daily life it's no surprise that the crowd (and police) all were in high spirits.

Quebec City winner Philippe Gilbert came from behind to take third place in Montreal and said he was surprised by how great the fans were, thanking them from the podium.

The Montreal winner was Portugual's Rui Alberto Faria da Costa riding for Movistar Team.

RESULTS

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Racers coming up Mont Royal just before the 100 metre mark.

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The peloton from behind.

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The peloton speeding by, uphill. Ryder Hesjedal (#11) in the centre of the pack.

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Spectators (and photographers) had to watch out for the motorcycle!

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Racers speeding by.

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Mike Barry (#33) at the finish line in Montreal.

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In dark green for Europcar is Japan's Yukiya Arashiro who won "Most Aggressive" rider in Montreal… he was tête de la course for the majority of the race!

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dandyhorse Fall 2011, The Food Issue, launches at Word on the Street Toronto, Sunday, September 25, 2011. Bob Blumer of the Food Network joins us as guest editor for this exciting issue and be sure to check out our centre spread with Ryder Hesjedal. Become a subscriber today.

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