Montréal Candidate to Host The 2026 UCI Road World Championships
Montréal, QC (July 22, 2021) – Montréal is in contention to host the 2026 UCI Road World Championships. Événements GPCQM, promoter of the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal, is proud to have developed and submitted the bid document to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), in collaboration with Cycling Canada and the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC).The Championships would be held in September, just a week after the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal, the only two UCI WorldTour events in the Americas, with the world’s elite cyclists welcomed to Canada for three weeks of wall‐to‐wall cycling races.
The UCI Road World Championships have been held outside Europe only nine times since they were first presented in 1921. And it was Montréal that hosted the very first non‐European edition of the competition, in 1974, with the legendary Eddy Merckx winning on the Mount Royal circuit. This is the UCI’s flagship event, one of the world’s greatest sporting events, with the winner awarded the emblematic rainbow jersey, and represents an exceptional opportunity for Canada in terms of economic, social and tourism benefits as well as international exposure for Montréal. Hosting the UCI Road World Championships would also confirm Montréal as a cycling destination and leader in the development of cycling in all its forms.
Prestigious locations such as Park Avenue, Jeanne‐Mance Park, Mount Royal, Olympic Park, Jean‐Drapeau Park and the Old Port will feature on the circuit that will see cyclists proudly competing in their nations’ colours. In addition to routes along the St. Lawrence River and through the heart of Montréal, the race route could also take in the major cycling venues in the greater metropolitan area.
The UCI Road World Championships in numbers:
- Program of competitions spread over 8 days
- Free event for the public
- 1,000 athletes, men and women, in Junior, U23 and Elite categories
- 11 titles to defend: 6 time trials, 5 road races
- 75 countries represented
- 5,000 team members, officials, UCI members and guests
- Hosting of the UCI Congress, the organization’s highest decision‐making body, with some 400 representatives from all continents expected to attend
- More than 800 accredited media representatives
- Broadcast to some 150 countries
- 250 million viewers
- More than half a million spectators, over half of whom will travel from outside the region
- Over $170 million in overall economic activity for the province of Québec and over $210 million for Canada**
- Over 1,000 jobs supported locally
- Tax revenues valued at $54M (Canada overall)
The project would be piloted by Événements GPCQM in close collaboration with the UCI and in partnership with Cycling Canada and the FQSC, with financial and technical support provided by the City of Montréal, the governments of Quebec and Canada, and Tourisme Montréal. The host city for the 2026 Road World Championships will be announced on September 24 at the UCI Congress in Belgium, held in conjunction with this year’s Championships, which run September 18 to 26.
Statement by Ms. Nathalie Goulet, City of Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for Social Inclusion, Sports and Recreation, the Status of Women, Homelessness and Youth:
“Montréal is recognized worldwide for the quality of its cycling facilities, enjoyed by growing numbers of cyclists here every year. This event is therefore the perfect accompaniment to the growth of this sport that we’ve been seeing, and will help promote adoption of healthy lifestyle habits along with environmental protection. Montréal is honoured to have been a stop on the UCI WorldTour, the world’s most prestigious road race calendar, for the past 10 years. We are therefore pleased and proud to support this bid to host the 2026 UCI Road World Championships, which will contribute to Montréal’s international reputation and visibility.”
Note that in 2020, for the third year running, Montréal was named Canadian Sport City of the Year by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.
Statement by Mr. Sébastien Arsenault, President and CEO, Événements GPCQM:
“Our organization has been producing the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal for more than 10 years, contributing significantly to the achievement of one of the UCI’s priority objectives, namely the globalization of cycling. In keeping with that vision, it was a logical step for us to propose to the UCI that Canada, Québec and Montréal should once again host this global sporting event. The world’s top cyclists are by now well acquainted with Montréal, the quality of our circuit and our top‐flight organization, not to mention the contagious energy of local supporters. We would be honoured to provide them with a new experience here in Montréal and welcome all the representatives and key players in global cycling as we crown the future world champions, both men and women, with the world watching. Together with our many partners in this project, we have set ourselves the goal of organizing a spectacular, must‐see sporting event, accessible to all, allowing athletes and fans alike to share a memorable experience with Montréal as the backdrop.”
Statement by Mr. Pierre Laflamme, President, Cycling Canada:
“We are pleased to propose to the Union Cycliste Internationale that Canada and the city of Montréal host the UCI Road World Championships. Canada and Québec have a rich history of hosting international cycling events and we would be honoured to host the UCI Road World Championships and UCI World Congress in 2026, on the 50th anniversary of the Montréal Summer Olympic Games. We believe that, along with the Événements GPCQM team, the FQSC, the City of Montréal and our government partners, we have assembled the winning conditions for a prestigious bid to the UCI to host what is one of the world’s biggest single‐sport competitions, in any discipline.”
Statement by Mr. Louis Barbeau, General Manager, FQSC:
“For over a decade now, the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal have not only helped several Québec cyclists in their development by providing them with a chance to compete against the world’s best; they have also inspired many people to take up the sport. Hosting the UCI Road World Championships in Montréal would be an exceptional vehicle for helping develop the next generation of Québec cyclists, boys and girls alike. There is no doubt that the coming years will see the emergence of new talents who will follow in the footsteps (or should I say pedal strokes) of our current elite cyclists and enjoy success on the international stage. And, because we can always dare to dream, the ultimate reward would be to see a Québec‐born man and woman bring home world titles and don their rainbow jerseys right here in Québec.”
Statement by Mr. Yves Lalumière, President and CEO, Tourisme Montréal:
“Tourisme Montréal is thrilled that our city has submitted this bid to host the 2026 UCI Road World Championships. This is one of the most important sporting events in the world and Montréal is a destination tailor‐made to host it. We are a world‐class sports city and the 2026 UCI Road World Championships are the perfect fit with the city’s cycling culture. This event would attract a tremendous number of visitors and provide an extraordinary showcase for Montréal as a destination. It is only natural that Tourisme Montréal should support and collaborate with its partners to submit a strong bid.”
About Événements GPCQM
Événements GPCQM is the promoter of the Marathon Beneva de Montréal, the first major international marathon to be held in Canada, and of the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal, the only UCI WorldTour events held in the Americas since 2010. It also produces the Critérium national de Montréal for elite Canadian and North American men and women athletes. The group has recognized expertise in television production. It produces content that meets the most demanding standards for sports events and delivers television signals to the leading sports broadcasters in the country and the world. Its mission is to generate emotion through sports, to bring together sports fans, the elite and spectators, and to promote Québec and Canada beyond their borders.
About Cycling Canada
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. With the vision of becoming a leading competitive cycling nation, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers programs to promote and grow cycling across the country.
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