BC Superweek is upon us again, offering 8 exciting bike races over 10 days for residents of Greater Vancouver to watch. It has become one of the most prestigious pro-cycling events in North America, with a total prize purse of more than $120,000. It includes events for Women, Men, and Youth, and offers a stunning spectacle of cycling skills in the usually busy urban streets of Greater Vancouver. This year features a brand new event, the New West Grand Prix, to be raced on the steep hills of New Westminster! This post lists all of the BC Superweek 2017 events, and features photos from last year’s events.
BC Superweek 2017 includes:
- The Tour de Delta, 7 to 9 July
- The New West Grand Prix, 11 July – new this year, it will be a criterium-style race with a mass start and a 935-metre circuit (45-55 laps). More than 200 cyclists will pass by every minute, making for a thrilling spectator experience. Update: Check out pictures, video and review of this exciting event here!
- The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, 12 July – always a thrilling sight; this year, 20,000 spectractors are expected at this high-stakes event
- The Giro di Burnaby, 13 July – raced on the urban streets of Burnaby Heights, this is one of the most exciting pro-cycling events in Canada
- The PoCo Grand Prix, 14 July – raced in the heart of Port Coquitlam, a criterium-style race with a mass start and a 1.3-kilometre circuit ( 40-65 laps)
- The Steve Nash Fitness World Tour de White Rock, 15 to 16 July –one of the oldest races in North America. It includes the Choices Markets Criterium in the heart of White Rock and the historic Peace Arch News Road Race.
The Gastown Grand Prix is always thrilling to watch as cyclists negotiate tight turns on cobbled streets in one of the most picturesque areas of Vancouver. This year, for the very first time, there will be an event in New Westminster. The extremely steep hills in this city will pose an interesting challenge for cyclists, and will be a whole lot of fun to watch. New Westminster’s 6th Street is so steep that it was used in the movie of Stephen King’s terrifying novel IT. In the movie, one of the heroes, Bill Denborough (Richard Thomas) brings his wife Audra (Olivia Hussey) out of a catatonic state by taking her on his childhood bike, Silver, down a steep hill, bringing her back to life. That hill is 6th Street – where cyclists will compete on Tuesday (source: Tenth to the Fraser).
The Gastown Grand Prix is the richest criterium in North America. It’s also the only criterium in Canada with official international UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) status. Here are photos and a video from last year’s event.
Last year’s Gastown Grand Prix was especially exciting for many because the women’s race was won by Tina Pic (USA) – at 50 years old, the oldest cyclist in the entire race. It was great to know that 50-year-old legs conquered the cobbles!
Tina Pic hails from Utah. She has had a 20 year professional cycling career (so far), during which she has won six US National Criterium titles. She is a Happy Tooth Pro Cycling rider. Tina said after the race: “A race like this just makes it all worth it, it’s just so fun to come out here and have such big crowds, it’s great!”
See if you can spot Tina in this short but fun video:
The Gastown Grand Prix has three segments: youth, women, and men. Below is a photo from the 2016 Youth Race.
Because it’s set in historic Gastown, the Gastown Grand Prix is a great place to find a restaurant for dinner, while watching the race from a patio or on the big screen. The Water Street Café has a patio right at the start line.
From the Water Street Cafe patio, you can observe cyclists getting ready for their event, and watch the race on a giant TV.
What helps to make Gastown Grand Prix spectacular is the backdrop of Vancouver – always awesome in summer. To make it even better the race runs over the cobblestoned Gastown streets.
In this race, the venue is as interesting as the race. Gastown is famous for being the Vancouver epicenter of shopping, patios and restaurants, design, culture, and fashion.While you’re at the race, try walking the entire circuit – you will see a lot of interesting things.
The first bike race ever held in Gastown was back in 1898, when two men raced each other penny-farthing bikes. The races are now a whole lot more exciting! If you’re planning on a Vancouver vacation in 2017, the week of the Gastown Grand Prix would be a great time to do it.
To find out more about this year’s BC Superweek events, click here.
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