400 million years ago, like a big hunk of gravel racing to Earth from the confines of space, a meteorite hit the Canadian Shield and its Laurentian massif here in Charlevoix. It is this phenomenal shock that created the breathtaking landscapes and rugged terrain that make the Charlevoix region famous, and a place that delights (or tortures) cyclists.
It is thus no surprise that Cycles Devinci chose Saint-Urbain-de-Charlevoix, in the heart of this prolific crater, to host such a wild event as Grinduro Canada. But what exactly is a Grinduro? It’s a combo of a gravel grinder road race and an enduro: one long loop on all kinds of terrain, where finishing times aren’t based on overall loop time, but four timed segments.
But Grinduro is not just a bike race. It’s a celebration of cycling with as much emphasis on the fun as the ride. A real Big Bang for cyclists to revolutionize the bike world: a gravel grinder with excellent food, art, live music, camping, fresh air and loads of fun.
This will be one of the six stages of this global gravel bike series presented by Giro Sport Design, SRAM, Fabric, Maxxis, Fabric, Rapha and Devinci for the Canadian race.
*The results combine FQSC associated and non associated riders
The beautiful region of Charlevoix is the host of Grinduro Canada. Stretching along the Du Gouffre River, nestled at the foot of the bare mountains that guard the perimeter of the crater and surrounded by vertiginous ramparts, the picturesque village of Saint-Urbain will be the central hub of this crazy event. This small municipality, located just north of Baie-Saint-Paul, is the gateway to the Charlevoix hinterland and the Parc national des Grands-Jardins, a unique natural setting with magnificent landscapes.
Entrance, parking and camping for event
357 rue Sainte-Claire, Saint-Urbain, Québec
The fun will start on Friday evening in Saint-Urbain, with the whole village ready to welcome you. Once your car is parked, everything will be easy to access: the campsite bordered by the Du Gouffre River to cool off, the Inter-Marché general store, a snack bar, a restaurant and most importantly, a local craft beer pub to put you in the right mood! Kick back and enjoy the campfire, music, the stars and only a few black flies.
Saturday, everything will be taken care of for you: meals, a great atmosphere and the second night of camping. After your country breakfast in the community hall, we’ll wait for you and your bike near the starting line for announcements, instructions and everything else before you’re on your way.
The race remains challenging (107 km of up and downhill over rough terrain), but the Grinduro is not a festival of suffering. With a mass start in Gran Fondo style, the day then plays out at a moderate pace. You’ll be able to pedal with your friends and your heroes, since the race isn’t timed. Only four segments actually are, and they’re all very different. In this way, the Grinduro rewards the most well-rounded participants.
The people of Charlevoix are very colourful. Don’t miss the poetic description of your future journey in the coming weeks ... Until then, in very very brief, here is an overview.
For the Grinduro, expect 107 kilometers of pure happiness, with a total height difference of almost 1,800 meters. If you were with us for the first edition, expect some changes on this new course.
Segment 1 at km 4.2 – The Entre Deux Bras Hill
A 3.6-km gravel climb, +240 metres.
Segment 2 at km 19.4 – The Cyclotronic Blast of the Astrobleme!
False flat gravel descent over 10 km, +76 metres/-195 metres
Segment 3 at km 73.2 – The Top Speed du Vallon Sprint through the Roads of Saint-Hilarion!
4 km time trial on gravel / asphalt, +51 meters / -44 meters
Segment 4 at km 102.9 – The Ferro-Titanic
A 2.8 km single-track galvanizing dirt descent, -268 metres
As for the Grindurito, the start will take place in the village. From there, it will join the last half of the Grinduro course, with its last two timed stages. Just over 50 km, enough to enjoy a small piece of the astrobleme.
The perfect party-to-race ratio! That’s the Grinduro motto.
So here’s a quick overview of what you can expect in terms of festivities.
A parterre à bière, our québécois version of a beer garden, will be set up for the event, showcasing local craft beers.
Partner exhibitions will be set up, including Giro and Devinci stands
Various live artistic presentations, details coming soon
Tasty terroir foods for you to discover
A big show on Saturday night – get ready for an awesome atmosphere!
Enjoy the region’s beauty! Charlevoix offers loads of cultural and sports activities. Need some ideas?
The Baie Saint-Paul Pumptrack
Mountain biking on local trails, access to Le Genévrier camping site
View trails online thanks to Trailforks
Hiking trails – Complete trail guide
Sea kayaking and SUP on the St. Lawrence
The Flavour Trail
Spa and beauty services
Visit countless art galleries
The list goes on!
There is so much to do around here. To maximize your stay, visit the Tourisme Charlevoix website. You’ll also find an array of accommodations, if the camping option doesn’t apply to you.
Need a bike shop?
Retailers Devinci & Giro will be on site: Lessard Bicycle
A list of other Devinci retailers can be found here
In Baie-Saint-Paul: Centre du vélo PN Gariépy
Need a piece of camping equipment? La Galerie du Sport
The Grinduro course features a blend of pavement, dirt road, gravel road and single track.
THE BEST BIKE: You can ride any type of pedal-driven bicycle (no electric-pedal assist!), although we recommend a cyclocross bike or mountain bike. The ultimate setup is probably a disc brake-equipped cyclocross bike with fast-rolling, tubeless clincher tires. Be prepared with at least two extra tubes, a multi-tool and mini-pump.
August in Charlevoix is a bit unpredictable weather-wise! Plan on a waterproof coat and the basic stuff (long sleeves and extra legwear), just in case. The river is near, as are the mountains, so it can be hot by day and quite cool at night.
There will be feed zones (and an excellent lunch!), but smart riders will bring at least two water bottles and their favourite nutritional supplies.
You can ride this loop in road shoes with road pedals, but we recommend mountain bike pedals and shoes for their versatility.
And don’t take come to the start line without a helmet on!
Winners of each category will take home a Grinduro trophy and other great surprises.
If it weren’t for the generosity and efforts of our sponsors, there would be no Grinduro. Thank you to Giro, Fabric, Maxxis, SRAM, Rapha and DEVINCI.
Big thanks to our local partners that work tirelessly to host Grinduro Canada:
The Saint-Urbain Municipality
The new route for 2020 was designed by VéloCharlevoix’s forest riders, with Saint-Urbain at the start and finish: an “intra-crater” trip, orbiting through roughly 107 km of oscillating unevenness, with a 1800 m elevation gain. And for those who wants to give it a try, the Grindurito offers a shorter distance