Québec Sin­gle­track Ex­péri­ence

OF­FERS UNIQUE MTB STAGE RACE IN 2017 Groupe Pen­tathlon re­cently an­nounced the launch of the Québec Sin­gle­track Ex­péri­ence (QSE), a unique in­ter­na­tional moun­tain-bike stage event in 2017 to be held July 29-Aug 5. The or­ga­ni­za­tion also man­ages the highly s

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Ben Andrew

Groupe Pen­tathlon re­cently an­nounced the launch of the Québec Sin­gle­track Ex­péri­ence (QSE), a unique in­ter­na­tional moun­tain-bike stage event in 2017 to be held July 29-Aug 5. The or­ga­ni­za­tion also man­ages the highly suc­cess­ful Pen­tathlon de Neiges, touted as the big­gest event of its kind world­wide, with more than 5,800 par­tic­i­pants at the 2016 edition. Be­gin­ning as a moun­tain-bike club in the Que­bec City re­gion, Groupe Pen­tathlon has a strong his­tory in cycling. In fact, its Pen­tathlon de Neiges event was orig­i­nally de­signed for winter cycling, so its new QSE is a fit­ting re­turn to its roots.

François Cal­letta, gen­eral di­rec­tor, be­lieves that the QSE will have a win­ning formula sim­i­lar to the other events that Groupe Pen­tathlon or­ga­nizes: “In­cred­i­ble rid­ing on pro­fes­sion­ally built trails in close prox­im­ity to a UNESCO World Her­itage trea­sure – Que­bec City! The sin­gle hub will of­fer sim­ple and re­laxed lo­gis­tics where fam­ily and friends can be part of the fun,” says Cal­letta.

Cal­letta also high­lights the value of the event, which is com­pet­i­tively priced com­pared to other pop­u­lar moun­tain-bike stage events. “We of­fer the best qual­ity-price ra­tio in the mar­ket. At $1,500 for the com­plete base pack­age (race, daily trans­fers, bike management and all meals), it's un­matched, as the price is usu­ally more than $2,500 for a sim­i­lar pack­age.”

Based in down­town Que­bec City, the in­au­gu­ral QSE will kick off at the end of July, bring­ing moun­tain-bike stage racing to the East Coast. The event will fea­ture seven out­stand­ing des­ti­na­tions in the area: Mont-Ste-Anne, Val­lée Brasdu-Nord, Shan­na­han and St-Ray­mond sec­tors, Sen­tiers du Moulin, Lac-Beau­port, Val­cartier mil­i­tary base and Lac De­lage.

The re­gion is the back­yard of Olympian Raphael Gagné (Can­non­dale 360fly p/b Su­goi), one of Canada's top Na­tional team mem­bers. Gagné is ex­cited to share his lo­cal trails with the rid­ers who will at­tend the race.

“The trails are right next to my home in Lac-Beau­port near Mont-Ste-Anne, and are super-fun with a good mix of rocky, rooty and muddy sec­tions,” says Gagné. “Very sim­i­lar to Burke Moun­tain in Ver­mont or Hard­wood Hills in On­tario, they're fast and flowy.”

The Ex­péri­ence, with its fes­tive am­bi­ence, will surely at­tract some Elite rid- ers, but it will find broad ap­peal with avid moun­tain bik­ers and weekend war­riors look­ing for a unique chal­lenge on re­mark­able trails. Rid­ers from the U.S., Europe and Canada have al­ready reg­is­tered for the event.

The pro­gram is made up of seven timed stages over the course of seven days, and will also in­clude timed de­scents and timed climbs within the stages for rid­ers to con­test. What­ever your goal, QSE says all rid­ers will find the re­laxed or com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment they are look­ing for. With 80% of the course on pro­fes­sion­ally made sin­gle­track and a visit to the UCI MTB World Cup in Mont-Ste-Anne on the fi­nal day in­cluded in the pack­age, the rid­ing is sure to be epic. With its mix of ter­rain, Gagné has a few equip­ment rec­om­men­da­tions for par­tic­i­pants.

“A cross-coun­try bike, with ei­ther 27.5” or 29” wheels, would be ideal. It is al­ways good to have full sus­pen­sion when marathon rid­ing, but I don't think it will be nec­es­sary for this event,” adds Gagné.

When set­ting out to cre­ate the QSE, or­ga­niz­ers hoped to ad­dress two ar­eas they felt could be im­proved with stage races of this kind: trans­fer time be­tween stages and time to change camps ev­ery night. The an­swer was a per­ma­nent base camp. Three lodg­ing op­tions are avail­able, in­clud­ing camp­ing, the res­i­dence of Merici Col­lege and the four-star Chateau Lau­rier. A range of ameni­ties will also be avail­able on site, in­clud­ing a can­teen, show­ers, med­i­cal ser­vices, yoga, park­ing, entertainment and an evening camp­fire.

“The fun about a per­ma­nent base camp is that it makes the ex­pe­ri­ence so much more re­lax­ing. No pack­ing and un­pack­ing, [no] need to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to take a shut­tle to the next start line. Bike, chill and re­lax . . . and if you feel like it, go for a walk and dis­cover charm­ing Que­bec City,” adds Cal­letta.

With a base camp set amidst the his­toric walls of Que­bec City and su­perb trails at all QSE stages, this event is des­tined for your bucket list. For more in­for­ma­tion and to re­serve space, visit www.que­bec­s­in­gle­track. com/en.

(op­po­site and left be­low) This new event fea­tures some of the most unique and re­mark­able moun­tain-bike trails in the prov­ince. (be­low) The base camp for all stages will be near UNESCOWorld-Her­itage-des­ig­nated Que­bec City.

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