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 the very first 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 four stages of this global gravel bike series presented by Giro Sports, Rapha, Fabric, Maxxis, Fabric and Devinci, for the Canadian race.
*The results combine FQSC associated and non associated riders
The beautiful region of Charlevoix will host the very first 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 (100 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.
As you can see, the people of Charlevoix are very colourful. Make sure you check out the full description of the race...
In short, expect 100 km of pure joy, with a total elevation gain of nearly 2100 m.
In terms of timed segments, here’s what to expect:
Segment #1 at km 7.7 – Sprint of the Big Arms, a presentation of SITEC North America:
4 km | + 50 / -123 meters | average slope -1.8%
Segment #2 at km 16.7 – Ascent of Large Gardens, a presentation by SÉPAQ:
2 km | + 183 / -0 meters | average slope + 9.3%
Segment #3 at km 80.6 – Descent of the Triple, a presentation of SIMARD SUSPENSIONS:
2 km | + 2 / -160 meters | average slope -8.3%
Segment #4 at km 89.1 - Rolling gravel des Bois EDF, a presentation of PARC ÉOLIEN RIVIÈRE-DU-MOULIN:
10 km | + 188 / -172 meters | average slope + 0.2%
You should arrive at the village towards the end of the afternoon. A perfect time for a dip in the refreshing Du Gouffre River. Saint-Urbain will be bustling in a festive vibe with all the exhibitors on site, your hosts Devinci joined by global sponsors Giro, Fabric, Rapha and Maxxis
You’ll also get the chance to admire artists at work, since Charlevoix is the refuge of many talented artists.
To end the day in style, you’ll be invited to share in a fantastic feast! As Charlevoix is a popular gourmet destination, the Grinduro is a perfect opportunity for you to taste what the region has to offer.
A great show will mark the end of this first edition of Grinduro Canada with four different artists. Party treat!
As you can see, the people of Charlevoix are very colourful. Here’s how they describe the day’s route – it’s like poetry! The route was designed by VéloCharlevoix’s forest riders, with Saint-Urbain at the start and finish: an “intra-crater” trip, orbiting through roughly 100 km of oscillating unevenness with over of 2100 m elevation gain.
The cyclonauts of this intergalactic loop will first climb out of the village over a few kilometres of asphalt on Route 381, to the Gros Bras tributary of the Du Gouffre River. They’ll enter the territory of the Seigneurie de Beaupré, an exclusive privilege to the participants of Grinduro Canada. Here, they’ll encounter the first timed segment: a thrilling and bewitching sprint. At the top of a small panoramic hill where sentries of rock overlook the meteoritic crater to the north which straddles the watershed separating the Petit Bras from Gros Bras, two tributaries of the Du Gouffre River unite aux Pointes under the bridge that cyclists will have crossed before parting ways with the 381. Here, they will climb some 50 meters before heading down 123 more over 4 km. This is the Gros Bras Sprint, a presentation of SITEC North America.
About 15 km from the starting line, cyclists will leave the dirt road momentarily and pedal back onto the 381 that will act as a launch pad for this interstellar voyage through the Charlevoix astrobleme. As soon as the launch is completed under the approving and amused gaze of the Mont du Lac des Cygnes, they will start the second timed stage: the Grands-Jardins Climb! This maximum all-out event presented by the SÉPAQ, with its more than 15% incline, is certainly one of the toughest events in the 2019 Grinduro Canada.
Cyclists will continue onwards, leaving the crater behind, relaxin’ and peddlin’ to the plateau of the Lac Jacques-Cartier massif, the highest sector of the natural province of the southern Laurentides. They will pursue their route on this plateau, between 700 and 900m above the St. Lawrence, for about 40 kilometers. They will encounter a first gastronomic ravito at some 29 km and 1000m above Saint-Urbain, rewarding the efforts made and replacing the fuel consumed after this part of their orbital flight. A veritable feast for their taste buds at the old Accueil Thomas-Fortin in the Parc national des Grands-Jardins!
On the way to the new Accueil du Lac Arthabaska, they will leave the asphalt to take a road less travelled that swings briskly from the Parc national des Grands-Jardins to the fief of the Seigneurie de Beaupré via the wilderness enclaves of the des Laurentides Wildlife Reserve. Forest, lakes, rivers, mountains and valleys of the Lac Jacques-Cartier massif... enjoy a relaxed ride among its splendours!
Riders will return to Earth and the crater through the rang Saint-Placide and the Côte de Pérou with the retro-rockets activated, to the threshold of Louisbourg and ... Triple Descent! This third timed stage presented by Simard Suspensions is an integral part of the Enduro La Triple Charlevoisienne, sending the cyclonauts on a single-track course through the enchanted Forest du Genévrier. Beyond the finish line of this all-out course, the second gastronomic ravito will rejuvenate riders with more Charlevoix specialties and other treats! There is one final timed stage to go, and not the least since there is a climb of nearly 400m just to get there... in relaxed mode but still grueling and completely “GRINDURIAN!”
The Rolling Gravel des Bois EDF Renouvelables, presented by PARC ÉOLIEN RIVIÈRE-DU-MOULIN, will also take place on the Seigneurie de Beaupré and stretches for 10 km, oscillating over terrains, up and down some 200m. As soon as this last all-out gravel stage is completed, riders will return to asphalt and peddle to the rang Saint-Jérôme, 3 km and 300m above Saint-Urbain and the Du Gouffre River, which will certainly be inviting or maybe even irresistible at the end of this odyssey. No doubt, the first edition of Grinduro Canada will send cyclonauts to another dimension! That’s intergalactic biking for ya!
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 bières, our québécois version of a beer garden, will be set up for the event, showcasing local microbrewery.
Partner exhibitions will be set up, including Giro, Rapha, Fabric, Maxxis and Devinci stands.
Various live artistic presentations, including frame painting.
Tasty terroir foods for you to discover, organized by the Table Agrotouristique de Charlevoix
A big show on Saturday night with four different band to get the party groovin'!
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 not for the generosity and efforts of our sponsors, there would be no such thing as Grinduro. Thank you to Giro Sport Design, Rapha, Maxxis, Fabric and DEVINCI.
Big thanks to our local partners that worked tirelessly to host Grinduro Canada:
The route was designed by VéloCharlevoix’s forest riders, with Saint-Urbain at the start and finish: an “intra-crater” trip, orbiting through roughly 100 km of oscillating unevenness, with a 2100 m elevation gain.
Map & Schedule
Download from Komoot