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
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.