Montreal's Tour de l'Île makes a pandemic comeback

·1 min read
The cycling event will use staggered start times for participants to respect public health guidelines.  (Isaac Olson/CBC - image credit)
The cycling event will use staggered start times for participants to respect public health guidelines. (Isaac Olson/CBC - image credit)

The Tour de l'Île ride is back on the streets of Montreal this year after being cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jean-François Rheault, president of Vélo-Québec, says despite the grim weather, the event nearly attained its registration cap.

"After a year of absence, a few millimetres of rain won't stop us," he said.

Nearly 9,000 cyclists signed up to wind through streets of eight boroughs and bike through the Olympic Stadium.

The ride usually takes place in June, but organizers had to wait to get approval from public health.

Pandemic changes

Rheault says the group had to make a few changes this year to avoid large gatherings because of the ongoing pandemic.

Cyclists will take off at any one of eight starting points along the 33-kilometre route, and at staggered starting times. Every half hour, up to 250 people will depart between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to follow public health guidelines.

Certain streets, including parts of De Lorimier Avenue South, Sainte-Catherine Street, René-Lévesque Boulevard, de Maisonneuve Boulevard and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge area will be affected Sunday to accommodate the event.

Spots are available at the Parc Lafontaine, Parc Champdoré and Parc Maisonneuve starting points for those interested in joining the ride.

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