On the strength of his first career victory in Europe acquired on March 20, Pier-André Côté is back home and he was present, on Wednesday, at the launch of the season of the Quebec Federation of Cycling Sports (FQSC) which took place held in Quebec.

The runner from the American team Human Powered Health is thrilled with his progress.

“I took great steps by winning in Belgium [le Grand Prix Criquielion] my first career stage victory in Europe and finishing in second place in Italy (Tour of Sicily), explained the cyclist from Saint-Henri. -de-Lévis. You see it more when you go from top 20 to fight for victory, versus going from top 50 to top 20. I realize how far I’ve come in the past four years. »

Free as air at the end of this season, Côté would like to join the ranks of a World Tour squad next year. “The goal is to compete in bigger races, and you can do that in the World Tour teams,” he said. I feel that I am ready to evolve to the next level. I have a nice development curve and I haven’t reached my full potential. »

In action from June 10 to 12 at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Charlevoix, Côté wants to continue his preparation for the nationals, which will take place in Edmonton from June 23 to 26. A selection within the Canadian team, which will take part in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, is in its sights, as is its presence at the stages of the World Tour in Quebec and Montreal on September 9 and 11.

Embark Program

Young retiree, the Olympian of the 2016 Games in Rio Raphaël Gagné is still as passionate about cycling. “I’m cycling as much as before, but in a different way,” said the mountain bike specialist. I no longer have performance goals, but I am still driven by passion. »

Gagné is one of the ambassadors of the new Embarquez program, which aims to introduce young people aged 8 to 11 from elementary schools in Greater Montreal, Quebec City and Sherbrooke to the safe and practical practice of cycling. The objective of the general manager of the FQSC Louis Barbeau is to extend this three-year program initiated in British Columbia throughout the province.

Historical board

Barbeau also confirmed that the organization had reached a historic plateau of more than 9,000 licensees. In 2019, which was then the peak, just under 9,000 runners were registered.

The schools will receive a fleet of 30 bicycles and 30 helmets and will count on the presence of two certified coaches for three days to learn about the pleasure of riding.

“It was natural to get involved,” Gagné said. We want young people to develop basic skills and healthy lifestyle habits. Although you might think that all young people know how to ride a bike, this is not the case. Many do not know how to put on a helmet. Others get off their bikes to get on the sidewalk or climb a small hill. By developing these basic skills, they will develop self-esteem. »

Depending on the attraction aroused among participants, they will then be directed to clubs in their region.

Along with his role as ambassador, Gagné, who is following his coaching levels from the National Coaching Certification Program, will lend a hand to the Quebec team riders who will be present at the Mountain Bike World Cup. du Mont-Sainte-Anne, which will take place from August 5 to 7.