IT WILL BE A FIRST IN AMERICA FOR THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AMATEUR CYCLING EVENT IN THE WORLD
VICTORIAVILLE, QC, Sept. 24, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Following a process that spanned more than a year, the Steering Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale has chosen Victoriaville and its Region to host the 2026 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. Supported by the Appalachian Classic, with the support of the City of Victoriaville and the MRC d'Arthabaska, the now confirmed candidacy represents a major turning point in the history of the organization, both for its future development and for its ability to generate strategic economic and recreational tourism spinoffs.
Similar to the Elite Road World Championships, contested by professional level cyclists, the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships feature for its part amateur or seasoned cyclists of all ages. Selected at the end of qualifying events of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series, of which Victoriaville and its region are part of as the Vélo.Victo.Fest. (photo), several thousand athletes from around the world take part in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships every year. Divided by age categories, they compete for the most coveted jersey in the world.
Beyond the strategic benefits in internationally positioning Victoriaville and its Region as an exceptional cycling destination, an event of the magnitude of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will also generate numerous economic spinoffs, with participants coming on average from more than 50 countries, travelling mostly accompanied, and staying at their destination for nearly a week. This ultimately results in several million dollars being injected into the local, regional and even provincial econmy. To this end, the first edition of Vélo.Victo.Fest., held from September 3 to 6, generated more than 400 overnight stays in a hotel environment and an outlay of more than $275,000 in expenses by participants in Victoriaville and its region.
Quote from André Bellavance, Mayor of Victoriaville and President of the Corporation de développement économique de Victoriaville et sa région
"The cycling world will have its eyes on Victoriaville as part of the 2026 UCI Grand Fondo World Championships. I would like to congratulate the Appalachian Classic team, whose efforts and passion allowed Victoriaville's candidacy to be successfully accepted by the selection committee. Once again, Victoriaville and its Region will shine through the organization of this unique international sporting event in America."
Quote from Alexis Pinard, Co-founder and President of the Appalachian Classic
"As we take such a step in our short history, two words spontaneously comes to mind: thank you. Thank you to our volunteers, who from near or far have always given for us, and without counting. Thank you to all our participants, who have always followed us in our adventures and vision. Thank you to our economic, tourism or political partners, for their vision and their conviction. Thank you to the Quebec cycling federation, Cycling Canada and the UCI, for believing in our potential. Thank you to the City of Victoriaville and the municipalities of the beautiful MRC d'Arthabaska, who trust us. And above all, thank you to the people of Victoriaville and its Region, who welcome us with generosity and enthusiasm every year."
SOURCE Ville de Victoriaville
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