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Le Tour du Grand Montréal - 2.1
Canada, June 2-5, 2008
For the seventh time, racers will line up for the Le Tour du Grand Montréal, having warmed up via the World Cup race just a couple of days prior.
The riders will battle it over five stages. The first stage is new compared to previous years. It is a circuit race over 85.5km, with the laps 5.7km in length. After 15 laps, the comfort of the finish line will loom.
The second stage is the same as last year, a 9km circuit, to be done 11 times.
Then comes a day split with two stages: first a very short time trial of 2.9km and in the evening, a 50km crit in Little Italy. The riders will have plenty of time to recover from the time trial, as the start of the later stage isn't until 19:15!
The final stage over 115 km has a new start-finish area, but otherwise remains the same.
One of the main favourite has to be Judith Arndt, fresh off a victory in Montréal. She also finished second in the recent Tour de l'Aude. Of course, she has tough competition within her own High Road team, with Oenone Wood trying to defend her title.
Another Australian to look out for is Cyclingnews diarist Rochelle Gilmore. Suzanne de Goede will want to insure victory for her Nürnberger Insurance team, while Sara Carrigan is looking for a good performance for her Australian National Team. Cuba, the Ukraine and Canada are also sending national teams. Webcor Builder has only four riders at the start, but that is more than the Cervélo-Lifeforce, who has opted not to participate in the Canadian event this year.