Alison Jackson celebrates seconds after crossing the finish line in first place at last year’s Tour de White Rock Road Race. (Scott Robarts/BC Superweek photo)

Tour de White Rock to bring top cyclists to city this weekend

Criterium, road race to cap BC Superweek cycling series

As the Tour de White Rock enters its 40th year – the popular cycling event is set for Saturday and Sunday – a few changes are in store, both behind the scenes and at the start line.

While the famous road-race route remains unchanged – male riders will complete 134 km between long and short laps, while the women will pedal eight long laps totaling 80 km – the start/finish line along Marine Drive has moved back to its traditional location near the head of the still-under-repair White Rock Pier, providing riders a picturesque backdrop as they pedal through the challenging, hillside course. The start line was moved slightly east last year due to construction at White Rock’s Memorial Park.

“The road race can be super challenging,” said former competitor and current race announcer Damien O’Hagan in a news release issued this week.

“Over the years it seems to play into the hands of the seasoned riders who control the front end of the race with a minimal output of energy, and then once the race hits the final laps, the riders who have conserved themselves and still have some power left in their legs are the ones going for the win.”

• READ ALSO: Rhim, Jackson win Tour de White Rock road race

There’s an important change behind the scenes, too, as longtime volunteer Barry Dalziel recently announced this year would be his last on the organizing team. Dalziel, a longtime Semiahmoo Peninsula resident and cyclist, spent nearly a decade as chair of the Tour de White Rock’s board of directors, and was also the event’s head marshal for close to 10 years.

Dalziel said it was time to move on to new challenges and give others an opportunity to become more involved in the event.

“I’ve watched the race grow from a regional focus with most riders being local to the region to an international race featuring Olympians, national champions, Tour de France, Vuelta, and Giro European road racers,” said Dalziel.

Those changes aside, much remains the same for the two-day athletic showdown.

The event still kicks off Saturday afternoon in uptown White Rock with a series of criterium races, in which riders will zip around a short, one-km course. The under-15 race will be the first official race to hit the streets, at 4 p.m., following by the men’s category 3/4 race at 4:30 p.m. and the women’s race at 5:30 p.m. The men’s race is the final one on the schedule, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the road race begins at 10 a.m.

Last year, the Alison Jackson won the women’s road race, which was her first-ever victory in the grueling race, though she had finished on the podium in four of the previous five years. American Brendan Rhim won the men’s road race, finishing more than a minute ahead of second-place finisher Christopher Hatz of Germany. In third place was longtime Tour de White Rock competitor Florenz Knauer, who had multiple White Rock podium finishes on his resume. He has finished either first or second in overall omnium standings for the last seven years.

Both Knauer and Jackson are back on the BC Superweek circuit this year. Superweek – which also includes events in Delta, New Westminster, Gastown, Burnaby and Port Coquitlam – began last weekend with the Tour de Delta, which is a three-race series that includes two criteriums and a road race.

As in previous years, there are plenty of other community events on race weekend, too. Preceding Saturday’s criterium races, there is a kids bike parade and race beginning at 3 p.m., as well as a Family Fun Zone that is open uptown from 2:30-6:30 p.m. From 2-7 p.m., a community marketplace – featuring live entertainment, food trucks and more – will also be held at White Rock Elementary.

At the conclusion of the races, the TD Concerts for the Pier series will be in full swing at Five Corners, with Kalimba performing at 8 p.m.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Hazmat team called to Surrey recycling centre

Witness at scene said several workers reported affects including coughing, headaches and chest tightness

Surrey killer foiled by cops’ suspicion he was underage in a bar

Birinderjeet Singh Bhangu was shot dead outside the Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel on Fraser Highway

Community invited to help with Downtown Surrey BIA’s fence art project

Association is hoping to change the ‘narrative’ for 135A Street with artwork

Surrey man who dropped brick of cocaine in front of cops loses court appeal

Amanpreet Singh Gill, 33, was sentenced to two years less a day

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read