In just over a week, more than 200 cyclists from around North America and across the globe converge on the Lower Mainland for BC Superweek, which begins with the $25,000 Tour de Delta.
“The community of Delta can be proud of what it’s built over the last 13 years with the Tour de Delta as they’ve taken an event which has always had strong local recognition in provincial and Canadian cycling circles and turned it into one which is now internationally recognized,” expressed BC Superweek Race Director Mark Ernsting. “The Tour de Delta is a premier event on the cycling calendar which attracts some of the top athletes from around the world.”
Bordered by water on three sides, the Corporation of Delta provides a spectacular backdrop for the MK Delta Criterium on Friday, July 5th in North Delta, the Brenco Criterium on Saturday, July 6th in Ladner, and the White Spot | Delta Road Race on Sunday, July 7th in Tsawwassen. An added attraction this year to the White Spot | Delta Road Race is the fact that it’s a UCI sanctioned race.
“Hosting an international 1.2 UCI race takes Delta’s road race to a higher level, creates much excitement and greater awareness in the sport of cycling in our community and continues to offer local athletes the chance to compete against the best cyclists,” said Mayor Lois Jackson of the Corporation of Delta. “We are fortunate to have a very supportive community that appreciates the talent, hard work and commitment of the athletes and their passion for their sport. Over the years the Tour de Delta has built community pride and become a premier cycling event, and the quality has not gone unnoticed internationally.”
“For Canada it has significant implications,” said John Tolkamp, President of Cycling Canada. “Points our riders can now earn on home soil go a long way toward extra spots. I was at the London Olympics and we had one man at the start line. A race like this could give us two or three.
“The benefits also include a stronger field, opportunities to carry out sport development initiatives, and a race experience for Canadian and BC riders that contributes to their growth in the sport,” Tolkamp continued. “The addition of a UCI sanctioned road race in BC supports growth in Western Canada, increases the visibility to a young audience, and helps the development of high level athletes and teams by exposing them to the highest level.”
The experience of seeing Canadian athletes up close and personal who are accumulating points with an eye on international competition should leave an impression with many aspiring cyclists in attendance as well.
“These athletes serve as wonderful role models for any youth looking to get involved in competitive cycling, especially since the Tour de Delta is a top level road race right in their own backyard,” Ernsting continued. “It’s inspiring to see how much the riders push themselves knowing that it could result in an opportunity to represent their country on the grandest stages in sport.”
Having UCI status should also take the exposure – and competition level – up a notch.
“This provides local teams both athletes and Team Directors the chance to experience what a UCI race entails,” Ernsting added. “This goes back to the reason why Delta wanted to get involved – to give locals the chance to grow in the sport so that they can go on to the next level of racing.”
BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest cycling series, with $110,000 in prize money available during nine races over 10 days.
BC Superweek runs from July 5 – 14, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (races on July 5, 6, 7), UBC Grand Prix (July 9), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 10), Giro di Burnaby (July 11) and the Tour de White Rock (races on July 12, 13, 14)
Learn more at www.bcsuperweek.ca.