August 1, 2011 – There won’t be any shortage of action in Montréal’s sporting scene this fall, thanks to the 2nd edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, which will take place on September 11, as well as the 21st edition of the Marathon Oasis de Montréal, which runs on September 25.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
The Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal—along with the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, which takes place on September 9—is one of only two North American stops on the prestigious UCI Pro Tour, which includes the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, among others. This high-level event never fails to bring some of the world’s biggest names in cycling to Montréal.
Set on a demanding track that weaves through Mount Royal, it showcases the strength, strategy and determination of the racers from the best teams on the planet. Last year, thousands of fans gathered along the track to get a close-up view of the likes of Robert Gesink, the eventual winner from the Netherlands, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, who placed third, and other leading competitors.
Cyclists were unanimous in their praise for the quality and level of difficulty posed by the track in the race’s inaugural edition, and this year’s event promises to surpass it on both accounts. Indeed, the track for the 2011 edition will extend across 12.1 km (with 229 m or 750 ft. of inclines), which the racers will pass through 17 times (205.7 km) in some five hours. Excitement is guaranteed, and access is free for spectators.
Marathon Oasis de Montréal
The first sporting event to take the chill out of the fall air, the Marathon Oasis de Montréal welcomes thousands of runners and walkers every year to participate in one or more of the six courses in its program: the Marathon (42.2 km), which is accredited by the International Association of Athletics Federations; Blakes Half-Marathon (21 km); 10 and 5 km races or walks; the P’tit Marathon Radio-Canada for kids (1 km); and the School Challenge (5 km).
This year, in keeping with custom, those running the marathon (and half-marathon) will set out from the Jacques-Cartier bridge before crossing over to Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame islands and continuing through countless corners of the city, including Old Montréal, downtown, Plateau Mont-Royal and Rosemont, where the race winds up at Parc Maisonneuve.
Under the same umbrella, the event also includes the Expo-Marathon (Race Expo) at Place Bonaventure on September 22, 23 and 24. Open to the general public, this event brings together numerous organizations and companies associated with the sporting industry. In 2010, a record number of some 22,000 professional and amateur athletes from 30 countries participated in at least one of the Marathon Oasis races, the main event being won by the Kenyan Julius Chogue Kirwa in 2 h 17 min 48 s.