Jean-Guy OPEN 2018
text : Halina Torresan - photo : Gophrette Power
Martin Jean-Guy Rancourt is one of a kind. His cycling style is part vintage memorabilia jerseys handed down by friends, part aero glasses. He has no Garmin, but this doesn’t mean he doesn’t like to ride strong and climb fast. Some say he’s a bike romantic, appreciating the beauty of cycling itself. Thriving most when living experiences and moments through cycling with his friends. His favorite rides are unplanned and take place on roads less ridden. The Jean-Guy Open is a tribute to Marty and his uniqueness.
I first found out Marty’s middle name was Jean-Guy on our way back from Stowe in 2016, my first trip with the Rouleurs. We were stuck in traffic at customs on the way back, so I started analyzing his passport, immediately seeing the name Jean-Guy right there in the middle between Martin and Rancourt. His middle name is actually an homage to his Acadian uncle Jean-Guy Légère, from Caraquet in New-Brunswick. From then on, I started calling him JG.
The idea for Jean-Guy Open first came from my sister’s friend, Olivier Proulx. Oli’s been organizing a 5K race for his girlfriend Jessica’s birthday every New Year’s Eve for the last 6 years. It’s called the Annual Jessica Eve Coll New Year’s Eve Race. It’s pretty much a timed 5k run in their West Island neighbourhood that finishes with everyone having brunch and coffee in their home. I always thought it was such an inspiring idea to bring your favorite people together over sports and food.
In 2017, on the first edition of the Jean-Guy, Marty was complaining about how much his birthday always sucks because it’s on the 7th of November. And that November is always the most depressing month of the year because it’s so cold and dark. Coincidently, at that point we had just started getting into cyclocross racing. We were having so much fun doing those intense 50 minute all out, all temperature bike races that always ended with good times, beers, and friends.
I thought hmm… What would be the ultimate cyclocross race? Definitely one that included all of Marty’s favorite things while reflecting his style: friends and family, CX bikes, and a course that’s not quite UCI approved including technical features like a run-up, MTB section, hill climb KOM and bog. As well as a bonfire, homemade food and a serve-yourself keg of microbrew! My parents’ place in Sutton fit in all of these elements so I called up my dad Danny and he said, “ Hell yeah! What do you need me to do to make this happen?! ”
For me, the Jean-Guy Open is a reflection of the true spirit behind amateur bike racing. A handful of friends and family on a homemade course going hard, and ending up sharing beers and food while spending the afternoon outside on a cold November day. Good times all around.
See ya in November for the 2019 edition !