It’s good to be back in the Beauce. The racing is tough, but it just feels right to be with all the other teams silently checking their phones while waiting for the chugging elevators at the Hôtel Le Georgesville. It feels family-like, or familiar, to be overhearing everyone once again talking about how good the food is at the Tour de Beauce; how the accommodations are great and strategies to get more non-decaf Nespresso pods in the room.
As a team that emerged out of Montreal, it feels not simply good but also important to see the familiar faces of Françis Rancourt and the organizing committee; the always helpful Maryse Rodrique at registration; Pascal Choquette, Catherine Leblanc, Guy Napert-Frenette and Pascale Quirion doing their thing. I know we’re forgetting people, but I volunteer Gord Fraser to buy those who are upset a beer at the Rock Café (!)… except Louis Bertrand because we have not forgotten the voice of the Beauce!
We are building something special at Silber Pro Cycling but the 30 year history of the Tour de Beauce provides a long-standing legacy that is central to Canadian Cycling’s identity. It was therefore an honour to have our riders and director invited to the opening press conference. Such a statement would only sound corny to someone with a narrow view of the sport. Over 30 years of organizing this event deserves huge respect, and the contribution to cycling’s infrastructure needs to be acknowledged. All the people named above help put on an event that showcases Quebec, builds community via outreach and volunteer programs, fills hotels, restaurants and bars (especially the Rock Café!) and gives swagger to Quebec cycling in general. It means something extra to be a Quebec racer at the Beauce and the organizers have built that culture of respect in conjunction with the Quebec cycling federation (FQSC).
So kisses on both cheeks for being great people, but also ‘chapeau’ to all those involved in the production of the Tour de Beauce for building a central node of Canadian cycling’s infrastructure, and doing it with Québécois panache. See you at the Rock!