5 years ago by Sam Wiebe

Shadow and light in the walled city


The Rally Cycling men complete their season with two heavyweight races in Grand Prix Québec and Montreal. The first of the WorldTour ranked duo, GP Quebec, featured just under 9,000 feet of climbing over 16 laps on a technical, urban circuit. The city was bathed in beautiful light, and provided a perfect backdrop for one of the most difficult races the team has ever attempted.

Quebec City, founded in 1608, is one of the oldest European settlements in North America, and its only true walled city. It’s a great place for a bike race.
The field at GP Quebec was stacked, with the team occupying one of two wild-card spots in a sea of WorldTour heavyweights. Underdog much?
Ryan Anderson has raced the Quebec circuit six times. He had plenty to share with his six teammates.
Light and shadow played beautifully in downtown Quebec City, with unseasonably perfect weather. Each team was given a tent on the finishing straight to prepare for the race.
Robin Carpenter made the GP Quebec roster after some incredible riding during the team’s final European campaign, including winning the KOM at the Deutschland Tour.
Colin Joyce also had a major contribution to the team’s breakout in Europe, with a stage win and third overall at Arctic Race of Norway.
Brandon McNulty applies invaluable Topical Edge lotion before the race.
Spectators in Quebec City understand cycling. There is a huge, energetic following for the sport and it’s apparent everywhere you look on the circuit.
Pride in Quebec and French Canadian culture as a whole runs deep. You can’t walk very far before you see another Fleur de Lis.
Nigel Ellsay was born in Courtenay, BC, and is one of four Canadian riders on the team’s roster for the Grand Prix series.
It was one of the final appearances of the team’s RDX for 2018. The team’s fleet of Acura support vehicles will be updated for 2019.
The police in Quebec City were polite but very firm, keeping spectators sealed off from the race. After the chaos at this year’s Tour de France, the strong support was welcome.
It was decreed in the team meeting, and lo and behold, it came true, to the surprise of none – Rob Britton made the break.
An enthusiastic TV host broadcasts live from the side of the road for TVA Sports. The energy and buzz in the city were immense.
There were thousands of feet of climbing dosed out across the circuit. It made for a grueling, grinding race, with only the toughest riders able to contest the finish.
The breakaway heads up one of the many steep, narrow sections on the urban circuits.
Ellsay speeds through one of the courses few flat sections in the city’s vibrant commercial district.
Quebec City is as unique as they come, and thus a major draw for tourists. The bike race was an added bonus for the city’s many visitors.
The peloton slowly but surely built steam, lap after lap. The final few were truly blistering.
Edmonton native Ryan Anderson rode great position all day, always near the sharp end of the race.
Rob Britton’s breakaway was inevitably doomed, despite gaining over 6 minutes on the peloton.
Anderson grits his teeth at the front of the race, shoulder to shoulder with some of the favorites, including eventual race winner Michael Matthews.
A Team Sky rider chases down the chevron under one of the city’s 400-year-old bridges.
The finishing straight was jam-packed with spectators, and the finish itself did not disappoint, with a frantic and fractured sprint.
Matthews takes home the win, with a brash celebration as Olympic gold medalist Greg Van Avermaet fights for second.