Cyclists negotiate a turn during the Tour de Delta last weekend. The Tour de White Rock begins Friday.

Amateur riders get ready for hill climb

Tour de White Rock kicks off Friday

His whole life, Jamie Boyd has always been competitive, no matter the pursuit.

So it comes as no surprise that the longtime cyclist was among the first to sign up for the Tour de White Rock’s Just Giver Amateur Hill Climb, which is set to debut Friday night.

“I always want to catch the guy ahead of me – that’s in anything, not just cycling. That’s just how I am,” said the 38-year-old Boyd, who works in the City of White Rock’s parks department.

On Friday, Boyd will be among a handful of recreational riders who plunked down $20 to compete in the hill climb, which will see cyclists slog 700 metres up Buena Vista Avenue – from Oxford Street to Martin. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., with the pro hill climb following at 7 p.m.

Boyd, who has rode mountain, road or dirtbikes since he was in elementary school – he even has the Fox Racing logo tattooed on his arm – chose to give road cycling a try a few years ago, even entering a few races in the Lower Mainland.

“Back then, I could never keep up with the peleton though,” he explained.

But he’s better prepared for Friday’s climb, however, having pedalled up the Buena Vista course “about 15 or 20 times.”

“The first time, I couldn’t even finish it,” Boyd said.

“I can do it now, but I still wouldn’t say I have the hang of it – it’s still a big challenge.

“Your legs start to hurt, but it’s just like doing the Grouse Grind or something like that – you just tell your legs to be quiet, and try to finish it.”

After Friday’s hill climb, Tour de White Rock competitors will head to uptown White Rock for the criterium, a one-km loop that passes by Five Corners, White Rock Elementary and city hall.

The men’s category 3/4 riders race at 4 p.m., followed by the women’s pro division at 5 p.m. and the men’s pro race at 6 p.m.

The Peace Arch News Road Race caps off race weekend Sunday morning, with the grueling endurance race set to begin at 9 a.m. on Marine Drive.

The men’s course is 130 km – 11 long laps of 10-km each, followed by five laps on the shorter course – while the women’s race is 80 km, all on the long course.

The Tour de White Rock is part of B.C. Superweek, which began last weekend with the Tour de Delta.

Sunday’s Delta road race was won by American cyclist Brad Huff, who edged fellow American criterium champion Daniel Halloway in a two-man sprint to the finish line.

Huff, riding for Jelly Belly Pro Cycling, and Halloway of Kelly Benefit Strategies Omtum-Health, were part of five-rider breakaway group as the field came across the line after four and a half laps of a smaller circuit in North Delta and 10 laps around a longer 8.8-km circuit in Tsawwassen.

Andrew Pinfold – a Superweek veteran and three-time Delta road-race champion – was third. Pinfold also finished second in the Delta criterium to win the overall Omnium title.

The women’s road race winner was 19-year-old Jasmine Glaesser, who was also second in the criterium.

The UBC Grand Prix – a new addition to Superweek – was staged Tuesday in Vancouver, and the Giro di Burnaby hits the streets tonight (Thursday).


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