Pierre Lavoie is a special being, one of a kind. He has also maintained a strong friendship with Félix Gauthier, President of Cycles Devinci for 25 years. Their relationship is based on respect, mutual admiration and great ambition - two visionary and inspiring regionalists. To mark the 10th anniversary of the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie (GDPL), Devinci wanted to offer him bikes just as unique as he is. Two Leo SL and a triathlon bike were handed over to our favourite Ironman, with a choice of components selected specifically for his needs, and aesthetics in the original athlete’s favourite colours.
Pierre is a true Québec icon, carrying a clear message: the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle. A triathlete, Ironman, but above all a kind-hearted man, Pierre was able to turn a tragedy into a springboard and began his movement by raising funds to support research on lactic acidosis, a disease that took away two of his children. In 1999, he travelled 650 km in 24 hours, a feat he did again three times, raising more than $1million for this rare disease.
Even more importantly, a movement was born.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie, this impressive non-competitive cycling event, where over 1000 people change shifts day and night over a 1000 km course in 60 hours. All this is to raise money for schools in Québec so that they can buy sports equipment to make young people move. Not to mention the Energy Cubes, amassed by young people who move with their family members; 15 minutes = 1 cube. In 2018, they accumulated 103,655,816 Energy Cubes!!
And that's not all! There is the race for high school, CEGEP and university students: a 30’hour non-stop relay-race, from Québec City to Montréal. There were 5800 this year. Almost as many participants as at the Boucle, another cycling event on a secure 135-km course, which is more accessible, to push their limits. Another idea is the Grande Marche, especially aimed at the elderly, an initiative which is supported by Québec’s general practitioners, who literally prescribe walking cubes. A revolution through sport! Community ownership that will suddenly change the face of our society. What a privilege it was for us to participate in this great movement. What a chance to be able to do our little part for Pierre, for youth, for Québec via the Grand Défi!
To all participants of the 1000 km that will start Thursday at noon – Congratulations and have a super challenge!!