Famous Race Returns to Gastown
Vancouver, BC : The Gastown Business Improvement Society and Steamworks Brewing Co. are bringing back British Columbia’s most famous bicycle race on Wednesday evening, July 17.
The Steamworks Tour de Gastown (formerly the Gastown Grand Prix) marks the return of skinny tires to the cobblestone streets of Gastown after a 10-year absence.
“Throughout Gastown and the rest of the community, there’s been a lot of interest in bringing the race back,” explained Jon Stovell, chair of the Gastown Business Improvement Society, which is organizing the race. “As a result, all of the businesses in Gastown are pulling together, and we’re particularly pleased that Steamworks has taken the initiative to become the title sponsor.”
The event will feature three exciting races along a closed circuit or “criterium” course with hundreds of North America’s top racers battling wheel-to-wheel for $10,000 in cash and prizes. The Steamworks Tour de Gastown also includes a community race open to bicycle police and couriers. The evening’s races are the centerpiece of BC’s Super Cycling Week. The three-stage Tour de Delta (July 12-14) and the three-stage Tour de White Rock (July 19-21) round out what promises to be an incredible week of cycling.
“Steamworks is thrilled to be part of bringing back what has traditionally been one of Vancouver’s most exciting, entertaining and distinctive summer events right in the historic heart of Vancouver,” said Steamworks’ President, Eli Gershkovitch. “Steamworks has committed to a multi-year sponsorship program to ensure that cycling has a secure place in downtown Vancouver for years to come.”
From 1973 to 1992, more than 30,000 cycling fans gathered annually to cheer on the tightly packed bunch of riders as they raced by the famous Gastown steam clock corner and through Gassy Jack’s Square in British Columbia’s richest one-day race. In the event of rain, the slick, uneven cobblestone streets present an even bigger challenge for the racers and even more excitement for fans lining the course.
The race boasts an impressive list of past winners, including three-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, Olympic silver medalist Brian Walton from Delta and two-time race winner and first North American to wear the coveted yellow leader’s jersey in the Tour de France, Coquitlam’s Alex Stieda.
“For more than 20 years, the Gastown race was a summer highlight, and having it back again is another wonderful opportunity to enjoy downtown Vancouver,” added Deputy Mayor Lynne Kennedy. “The Gastown Business Improvement Society and Steamworks deserve our congratulations for their commitment to making Vancouver an exciting and vibrant place to live and visit.”
“This is what the Spirit of Vancouver is all about,” said Peter Legge, chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Spirit of Vancouver campaign. “Thanks to business leaders like the Gastown Business Improvement Society and Steamworks, we’re not just making sure events such as the annual fireworks and Molson Indy stay in Vancouver, we’re also bringing back great family events like the Gastown bike race, something all of us enjoyed for many years.”
Contact: Greg Descantes Tel: 604-646-3564