No less than 1,500 cyclists will take the streets of Chicoutimi on Saturday morning to start the Grand Tour Desjardins 2019, which will take them on a tour of the region from August 3 to 9.
The start of the event, organized by Vélo Québec, will be between 7 am and 10 am from the Cégep de Chicoutimi, while cyclists will be free to leave at the time they want, not in the pack, as during the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie. Cyclists will walk around downtown Chicoutimi along boulevard du Saguenay to join boulevard Saint-Jean-Baptiste and rang Sainte-Famille. They will then go to Laterrière to go to Jonquière via Saint-Pierre Road. They will also walk along Lake Kénogami by the Route des Bâtisseurs. Once in Hébertville, after passing near the Lac Vert, they will reach Saint-Bruno via Turgeon Street.
“We have 1400 cyclists who are registered, to which we add a hundred companions and employees. It is therefore a caravan of 1500 people. There are 200 people who will leave us on day 3, because they are on week-ends, “explained Joëlle Sévigny, Executive Director of Events and Travel at Vélo Québec.
In total, bike enthusiasts will travel between 400 kilometers, for the short route, and 867 kilometers. Just like the Hydro-Québec Hike around Lake Saint-Jean, optional courses are offered to those who want to devour more bitumen.
The caravan will settle in Saint-Bruno on Saturday night, then in Roberval for two nights, in Dolbeau-Mistassini and finally in Alma for two evenings. Loops will be offered in Roberval and Alma.
impact The economic impact will be quite significant for the region while Vélo Québec makes the effort to appeal to regional businesses, particularly for food. “We mainly deal with caterers in the region. The microbreweries in the region are also highlighted, she said, adding that the beers of the Microbraserie du Lac, Beemer and Riverbend will be offered every evening at the bistro. It is also sourced in the SAQ of the region. ”
The first dinner will be very typical while the tourtière of Lac-Saint-Jean and filet of walleye will be on the menu.
Of the 1400 cyclists, about 250 of them opted to sleep in hotels in the region. Just about everyone else will sleep in the tents, 300 of which are rented by the event.
The 2019 edition sold well, while the attraction was based more on the scenery and the pleasure of riding than on the uneven ones. “It’s in the good editions of the Grand Tour. […] We have 15% of people from outside Quebec. This is a significant increase for Ontarians and Americans. There are Americans from 13 states, “said Ms. Sévigny, adding that there will be 3% of Jeannois and Saguenéens who will have the chance to drive home.
“In recent years, we have shorter days, with longer options,” she chained.
There are also 43% of women, which is a rising number.
Saint-Gelais will be there
The pride of Saint-Félicien, Marianne Saint-Gelais, will be part of Monday as she takes part in the loop around Roberval. The speed skater and triple Olympic medalist will also share her passion for cycling during a 5-7 event, which will take place on Sunday, August 4th, at the Village Bistro in Roberval.
Vélo Québec also indicated that it was still possible to register.