Last year’s Tour de White Rock women’s road race winner Kristi Lay celebrates as she crosses the finish line. (Nick Greenizan photo)

Cyclists set for Tour de White Rock this weekend

Two-day BC Superweek series begins Saturday in uptown White Rock

One of the most popular, spectator-friendly sporting events of the summer is just days away from touching down in White Rock.

This weekend, the two-day Tour de White Rock cycling series – which is part of BC Superweek – returns to the seaside city, and will feature some of the world’s top amateur and professional cyclists.

The festivities begin Saturday with the criterium races, which are staged on a one-km course in uptown White Rock, and wrap up Sunday with the road race, in which riders traverse the city’s hilly terrain in between starting and finishing on Marine Drive.

Criterium races begin Saturday at 4:30 p.m., when the men’s category 3/4 riders take off from the start line. They’re followed at 5:30 by the women’s race, and the men’s top-division race, which is set for 6:30 p.m.

Other events are scheduled for earlier in the afternoon, however. As in previous years, a Family Fun Zone will run from 2:30-6 p.m.; a kids bike parade is set for 3 p.m. and a kids bike race for 3:30 p.m., and an under-15 criterium race will take place at 4 p.m.

Live music will follow, as the latest installment of the TD Concert Series will kick off at 8 p.m. at Five Corners.

On Sunday morning, the road race begins at 10 a.m. – the men will race 134 km (11 laps of a 10-km route, followed by five shorter laps), while the women will pedal through eight long laps for a total of 80 km.

Last year, Steve Fisher won the men’s road race, and Kirsti Lay took top spot in the women’s field. Fisher is currently expected to be back for the White Rock event, though Lay – who is competing at other Superweek races this week – is not listed among White Rock competitors.

The Tour de White Rock is the last event on the Superweek schedule, which also includes the Tour de Delta, New West Grand Prix, Gastown Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby and the PoCo Grand Prix.

On Sunday in Delta – the first event – the men’s 155-km road race was won by Victoria’s Adam De Vos, while the women’s champion on the 104-km course was Kendall Ryan, who swept Delta’s three-race series. Ryan – a three-time U.S. national champion – also won criterium races on Friday and Saturday.

Delta’s two men’s criterium races were also both won by the same rider – Colorado’s Eric Young, who races for Rally Cycling.

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