Posted by Editor on 04/9/05
BC SuperweekAnchors Canada Cup National Road Series
It's official. The Canadian Cycling Association has announced that BC Superweek, July 15-24, is going national! The Tours de Delta, Gastown and White Rock have become a major part of the new Canada Cup funded by the legacy from the 2003 World Cycling Championships in Hamilton, Ontario. It is a four event, road racing series for men and women intended to help select and develop national and Olympic team candidates. By 2008 the series will expand to 8 events. This year it begins with the National Championships in Kamloops, July 8-10, continues with BC Superweek and concludes with the Montreal to Quebec City Road Race and Elliott Lake Stage Race.
The Canadian Cycling Association's National Development Coach, Kris Westwood, one of the architects of the Canada Cup, confirms that selecting the West Coast races for the new national series was an easy decision. "BC Superweek is where it's at in road racing in Canada," he says. "It's pretty well it in this country. White Rock is a fantastic race that's been around for a long time. Delta is now well established with incredible community support. And, of course, Gastown is a classic. "
They don't anticipate any significant increase in the number of national riders this year, but within a few years the Canadian Cycling Association envisions a cavalcade of up to 100 men and 60 women traveling across the country each year in the National Road Race Series. The Canada Cup series is aimed at identifying and helping up and coming riders and not just the elite athletes. That's another reason BC Superweek officials are happy to be selected for the national series.
"We're happy to have the best in North America competing here each year," says Scott Hawthorn, Gastown Race Chairman. "But what we really want is to provide a place and opportunity for Canadian riders to race and win at the top level as well. This series will help to do that."
"The Canadian Cycling Association should be commended for initiating a National Race Series to develop Canadian cyclists. Delta is extremely excited to be part of what is truly a national event with BC Superweek in the West and 2 races in the East," says John McMurchy, Tour de Delta race organizer. "It helps us achieve two of our major goals when we started this race 5 years ago. It gives Delta national exposure and it raises the profile of cycling."
Tour de White Rock race organizer, Rita Clarkson adds that "what's most exciting for us to be selected as part of the National series is that it acknowledges the history and quality of our race in White Rock. For 26 years we've been working mostly with local sponsors. It's nice to finally get the national recognition. It's proof that community events like ours are the lifeblood of the sport and the only way we can have our riders compete at the national level. Brian Walton's first win was in White Rock. Riders can't learn to compete without events like ours and Delta and Gastown."
BC Superweek is already the richest week of racing in Canada, annually attracting a strong field of American Pros. Now with the added money available only to Canada riders, race organizers expect to significantly increase the quantity and quality of home grown talent.
"The money's enough that the riders will travel," says Ms. Clarkson. "We'll get more riders out here from back east and they should stay here for all the events."
Mr. McMurchy also points out "that we don't have to worry about conflicting schedules anymore. We often lost riders to national championships going on at the same time as ours. That won't happen anymore. We also expect a significant increase in the number of women riders. We've averaged around 30 to 35 women each year. Our goal is to double that number and it could happen very quickly as this series grows in the next few years."
For more BC Superweek information visit the website at
For more Tour de Delta information visit the website at www.tourdedelta.com.
For more Tour de Gastown information visit the website at www.tourdegastown.com
For more Tour de White Rock information visit the website at www.city.whiterock.bc.ca
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