ProTour Debut in Montreal Brings Buzz to Canadian Trade Show
Lots of cyclists descending on Montreal in mid-September is nothing new. Expocycle, Canadas national cycling trade show has made the city its home for years. But this year was also the first time the UCIs
MONTREAL, Canada – Lots of cyclists descending on Montreal in mid-September is nothing new. Expocycle, Canada’s national cycling trade show has made the city its home for years. But this year was also the first time the UCI’s ProTour race series had crossed the Atlantic, staging races in Quebec City on Sept. 10 and Montreal on Sept. 12 (the first day of the trade show). The influx of pro riders brought some added excitement to the trade show floor as retailers and reps rubbed shoulders with the pros on Monday, while prepping for the 2011 season.
“This is a very exciting time to be in the bike industry,” said Janet O’Connell, Executive Director, Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC), producers of ExpoCycle 2010, in a press release marking the show opening. “While many other businesses are suffering from difficult economic circumstances, our industry is thriving and offers opportunities for significant growth in the years to come. In line with these opportunities, BTAC has re-invested in ExpoCycle 2010 to ensure the buyer experience, opportunities and education are second-to-none.”
In addition to booths and seminars, Expocycle added an indoor test track for the first time this year. Another notable sight – the participation of industry giant Cycling Sports Group, the cycling division of Quebec-based Dorel Inc.
Veteran attendees to the trade show said the show was smaller than in previous years, but enthusiasm amongst attendees remained high. Benjamin Sadovoy, publisher of the Canadian cycling magazine Pedal, and national trade magazine Bike Trade Canada noted that having the ProTour riders in attendance was a real plus, for both the participants and the organizers.
“There was definitely some positive input from the ProTour. That kind of buzz is hard to replicate. It’s hard to bring in that kind of fire-power. The traffic (at the show) was OK on the first day and the second day, but definitely quieter on the third day. Traditionally, the last day is always slow, but this year it seemed even slower. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but there’s competition for shows. They (Expocycle) still struggle to bring out the Western (Canada) dealer, because they go to Interbike (in Las Vegas, Nevada).
Brodie Bicycles is a bicycle manufacturer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Their Expocycle booth was as busy as ever.
“We actually took more space that last year, said Andrew Summers, the company’s Western Sales Manager, “but we had about the same amount of product. For us, we were a little bit busier than last year, between existing customers and potential customers.”
Summers says after a tumultuous 2010 that saw a late summer and poor weather in many provinces affecting sales, retailers are excited about 2011.
“Everybody seemed more upbeat. Urban (bikes) are still very strong and gaining momentum every year.”
Sadavoy shares the opinion that bicycle commuters are becoming a crucial market for the Canadian cycling industry.
“Many companies recognize the value of the commuter, or urban cyclist. I think there’s a lot of positive energy in the sport right now for a lot of good reasons. The economy is turning around, inventory is under control and I think the general attitude towards turning ‘green’ means there’s going to be positive input for cycling.”