The retirement of Alex Harvey does not mean the disappearance of cross-country ski events in the capital, according to Gestev president Patrice Drouin. “I think the world of Quebec loves this sport, they said it, they proved it. This is not the end of cross-country skiing in Quebec, “he said on the sidelines of the World Cup finals this weekend.
D lready, Quebec is registered at 2020 calendar of the International Ski Federation. A six-stage tour that would also run through Minneapolis (USA) and Canmore (Alberta) is in the process of being confirmed. It only remains for him to finalize the financial agreements.
“We always work the same way. The event is recorded on the calendar and the funding is assembled later. We could have negotiated with our private and public partners before and during this World Cup, but I preferred it to be over. We have appointments this week, I guess it’ll be okay. With the success we have just experienced, I would have trouble believing that it does not come back. But hey, we have our homework to do in the next month and we will have the answer in May, “said Drouin after what was a sporting success and popular.
In his eyes, the rendezvous of Quebec is no longer only that of Alex Harvey, as it has been so far.
“The phenomenon Alex Harvey has given wings to the event, it is undeniable. But people were as supportive of Norwegians as Alex, we are on a good track for cross-country skiing in Quebec, “he said, citing mountain biking. The World Championships in this discipline, which saw the appearance and retirement of cyclist Marie-Hélène Prémont, will take place at Mont-Sainte-Anne during the Labor Day weekend in early September.
Nevertheless, the best Canadian foundry in history was worth its weight in gold. The conquests of the 2017 and 2019 plains of Abraham will be hard to reproduce.
“I think that for Alex, it’s over to go incognito in Quebec … We are not close to review what we lived. I admit that Saturday, Alex took us by surprise emotionally. We have just experienced a dream scenario because we combine the end of a career with another great edition of the World Cup. We were at the rendezvous, too. ”
Now the challenge will be to maintain interest. But Drouin is not worried after seeing the amateurs encourage the founders, whatever their origin.
“The FIS sees us in the future because it’s a great event in North America. The crowd was equal to or better than last year, when we estimated it at 60,000 people [for the three days]. It was beyond our expectations, especially with the weather looking like anything at the beginning of the week. The Cross-Country Ski World Cup is a revelation to us, we never thought it was going to be like that. ”
Of course, he could not pass Harvey’s contribution to the success of the adventure.
“Alex is an incredible athlete, he is adorable, strong, surprising. He propels us forward by telling others we are good. Finishing a career with two podiums and the fastest time of the day is incredible … Alex may not be doing such a show anymore, but he will never be far from us. “