The Tour de l’Abitibi paid tribute to young David Carey, who died recently at the age of 13. This tribute took place during the presentation of the riders in RouynNoranda on Monday, July 15, 2019. The presentation and tribute preceded the Sprint Abitibi Challenge. In addition to the ceremony, drivers of the Tour de l’Abitibi are wearing jerseys with an orange ribbon next to the mention “I ride for David”.
The Abitibi Sprint Challenge is a very special exhibition with only 24 riders participating. These riders are chosen by their team for their specific skills.
At first, the 24 riders compete in groups of three. One of the three riders is eliminated at the end of the Sprint and the other two are to take part in the quarterfinal. The quarter-finals consist of four riders with two to be eliminated. Four riders also compete in the semi-final and final.
What an upset! The Tour’s favourite, Riley Pickrell, was passed by the American Lucas Bourgoyne. Pickrell had won each of the three previous sections by a long shot. The third winner is Fabien Selivert, from the team of France.
This Sprint Challenge is very impressive and interesting for the mass of spectators who showed up thanks to the beautiful weather.
The young David Carey came from a family that has been very involved for a long time at the Tour de l’Abitibi: his older brother, Thomas, competed in the Tour as a rider. His parents volunteered on motorcycles even when none of their sons were participating and David himself ran at the Tour de la Relève on top of helping at the organization’s cafeteria, where he would greet all the riders and volunteers.
The next stage of the Tour de l’Abitibi, a road race from Val-d’Or to Rouyn-Noranda where the riders will have to complete three laps of a 3.7 km closed circuit, will take place on July 16.