The 2017 Tour de White Rock is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. (File photo)

Cyclists set for Tour de White Rock this weekend

Two-day event, part of BC Superweek, arrives in city Saturday

One of White Rock’s biggest summer events gets in gear this weekend, when the Tour de White Rock pedals into town Saturday.

The popular two-day cycling series – part of BC Superweek – begins with criterium races Saturday afternoon in uptown White Rock, and wraps up Sunday morning with the Peace Arch News Road Race, in which pro and amateur cyclists alike will traverse White Rock’s hilly terrain, beginning and ending on Marine Drive.

Sunday’s seaside competition, which begins at 9 a.m., is 134 km for the men – 11 laps of a 10-km route, followed by five shorter laps – while the women in the field will complete eight long laps totalling 80 km.

Saturday’s criterium is one of the most spectator-friendly sporting events on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, as viewers lining the streets of the city’s uptown neighbourhood can get a up-close-and-personal view of cyclists as they zip through a one-km course at speeds exceeding 70 km/h.

Saturday’s action begins at 3 p.m. with a kid’s bike parade and race – which is free to enter – and is followed by two more youth races before the more experienced cyclists take to the pavement. The men’s category 3/4 riders compete at 4:30 p.m., and the women’s and men’s pro races are to be held at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

Most of the riders who will compete here this weekend have been busy racing across the Lower Mainland for the last week as part of the BC Superweek series, which began July 7.

The ever-growing series now includes six events; the Tour de Delta, New West Grand Prix, Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby, PoCo Grand Prix and the Tour de White Rock.

Last year’s Tour de White Rock road race was won by Canadian national team time trial champion Ryan Roth, while Vancouver’s Stephanie Roorda took the checkered flag in the women’s race. The 2016 men’s criterium champion was Australian Liam Magennis, while the top female finisher was Sara Bergen, who also finished third in the road race.

For more on the Tour de White Rock, visit www.tourdewhiterock.ca