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It’s a hit, and there hasn’t been a race yet. Will Challenge Cap Quebec live up to the hype?

Can Challenge make a triumphant return to North America with an event in Quebec?

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

The announcement today of Challenge Cap Quebec marks a new era of racing here in North America. The Challenge Family series of races has struggled to get any kind of hold in the United States and Canada. A failed partnership with Rev 3 was followed by the announcement of Challenge Daytona, but after a few years the race organizers there decided to go their own way, creating Clash Endurance.

There’s a lot of optimism about this new race, though. With former Ironman Mont-Tremblant race director Dominique Piche (pictured above) at the helm, there is a lot of excitement about the event – both locally here in Quebec City, and with the Challenge organization, too. We caught up with a few of the key players at today’s press conference, which was held at the Port of Quebec, which is where the race will be held next July.

We’ll start with Piche, who’s efforts in Mont-Tremblant saw that race surge onto the world scene as the site of the Ironman North American Championship, then become the first host of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship outside of the United States, beginning the global rotation of that event. Ironman remains very much in his heart, but now he’s looking forward to a new challenge (pardon the pun) as he looks to host an event in one of North America’s most popular tourist destinations.

Jort Vlam. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Challenge Family CEO Jort Vlam is in Quebec – his first trip to Canada – and is thrilled with the potential of the new event as Challenge returns to North America:

Finally, we caught up with 11-time Ironman and 70.3 champion Lisa Bentley on her thoughts about the race and it’s potential: