Van Avermaet, who stood on the top step in Montreal in 2016, lines up as one of the pre-race favorites with seven podium places collectively at the two races to his name, Sports Director Steve Bauer said.
“Greg Van Avermaet is in great shape and, as we see looking at the previous seven editions of both races, he always finds good legs at the two races so it is only natural that Greg is our outright leader in Quebec and Montreal this week. He will have some strong support with Simon Geschke, Serge Pauwels, Michael Schär, Joey Rosskopf, Łukasz Wiśniowski, and Josef Černy completing the team. Having placed in the top ten every time he has lined up in Quebec, including five times on the podium, Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec is well suited to Greg’s strengths. However, this year the course in Montreal has increased to almost 220 kilometers so the two extra laps could play in Greg’s favor with the additional kilometers causing more fatigue in the peloton, which is when Greg can dig deep and really make the difference,” Bauer said.
“Although we have a pre-race favorite in Greg, the team will need to be on their A-game. Both races can be difficult to control and the punchy profiles can work in the favor of a small group of strong riders going clear. Our guys are healthy, ready. and motivated to get Greg back on the podium for the fourth consecutive year.”
Van Avermaet is taking confidence from his recent races ahead of the Canadian races.
“I always look forward to racing in Quebec and Montreal as these are two of my biggest goals of the season. I felt good at Bretagne Classic – Ouest France last week and I think my legs were better than what the result suggested. I always seem to have good legs at this time of the year and with the World Championships in Yorkshire serving as extra motivation, I have put in a solid block of training so, I hope it pays off in Canada,” Van Avermaet said.
“Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and Montreal are tough races which suit my style of racing, especially as I like to sprint at the end of a long, hard race so we will be looking to make the races as hard as possible. I think we will have a good indication of how everyone is racing before the World Championships and see what needs to be done to fine-tune my form in the next couple of weeks.”
Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec / Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal (13 & 15 September)
Rider roster: Josef Černy (CZE), Simon Geschke (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Joey Rosskopf (USA, Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL)
Sports Director: Steve Bauer (CAD)