After a two-year absence, the world’s mountain bike elite will meet again from August 5-7 at the 30th edition of the Vélirium, in Mont-Sainte-Anne, which will host the Coupe du UCI Mercedes-Benz world.
It is expected that 400 professional athletes will participate in the competitions, which will begin Friday afternoon. Approximately 350 junior athletes between the ages of two and 12 will also be in attendance.
Gestev’s executive producer Marianne Belchat, who has been with the organization since 2004, is particularly looking forward to the competitions returning.
She explained: “In 2019, it was the World Championships, but this year it is the return of the World Cup event. The Mont-Sainte-Anne stage is legendary. It is a classic game that is one of the favorites of athletes.
Thursday, during the press conference, many of the participants in Quebec were feverish.
“My goal is to finally finish my leg and get an earache because of the encouragement from the spectators,” Linder Bouchard said with a smile. I got past 30th in snowshoes [en Virginie-Occidentale] In the United States, I don’t think I’m a candidate. If you can get past that score, that would be great. […] It’s special here because the density has been quadrupled. Incentives are personal. We fit encouragement in French. It was something I missed.”
He added, “In the badger’s ascent section, it’s going to move. It’s really physical. Spectators can be less than a meter from us. It’s insane.”
Without putting too much pressure on results, Léandre Bouchard wants to make sure he progresses to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“I took part in the Olympics in 2016 and would like to come back,” said the 29-year-old cyclist. Currently I am in my best years. In 2024, I will be mature.
Roxanne Fermi, who grew up near Mont-Sainte-Anne, is excited about the idea of living this experience at home.
The 21-year-old said: “This is the second time I will compete in Mont-Sainte-Anne. I live a few meters from the fairways. It is really special to experience this with all my family and friends who will be attending. […]. It is a great gathering for mountain bike enthusiasts. Everyone is enjoying the event and looking forward to it.”
The recurrence of cancer does not dampen the enthusiasm of Victor Virault
Nearly two months after having surgery on his neck to remove twenty cancerous lymph nodes, cyclist Victor Ferriault is back at his peak.
Five years after battling Hodgkin and thyroid cancer, the 22-year-old had to have the cancerous lymph nodes removed last June. A large scar is also visible on his neck.
“The doctors found a lump. They told me it was a recurrence of thyroid cancer, after an ultrasound analysis, Victor Virault explained. In my head, they were planning to remove the small nodule and that was it, but they explained to me that if I had one high enough in my neck, There are others, because it started from the throat. This is why the operation was a little bit bigger and why I have such a big scar.”
The athlete from Saint-Félicien barely missed some races.
“Doctors have told me that my physical shape will reduce side effects and allow me to recover more quickly,” said Victor Ferriault. Our body is used to emptying and recovering in a short time. I was arrested three weeks before I had some physical therapy. I was suspended for about a month after a good start to the season.
“I consider myself lucky,” he added. I wasn’t waiting for this. The first races were more difficult, but I had good results. I’ve been in six or seven races and the results have surprised me every time. It’s just good news.”
His family and friends will travel from Lac-Saint-Jean to see him at work on Sunday.
He stressed, “My companions are bike enthusiasts. They’ve already come to Mont-Sainte-Anne in the past. They all told me they came to cheer me on. It’s fun!”
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