Burnaby, BC – The creativity and community spirit of Burnaby’s Heights neighbourhood will be showcased for all as hundreds take in numerous events celebrating the annual Giro di Burnaby on Thursday, July 16th.
Fans will line Hastings Street between Madison Avenue and MacDonald Avenue to see some of the top men’s and women’s cyclists in the world in a fast-paced criterium where speeds reach up to 60 km/h. Before the pros take to the course, 50 boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 16 will have a chance to ride the route as they participate in the first ever Giro Breve youth race.
“The Giro Breve youth race is a fantastic addition to the event this year. Our mandate has always been to add as much community value as we can to the Giro,” said Giro di Burnaby Media Relations Manager Greg Dion. “To have the opportunity to give young, up and coming riders a chance to get out on the course next to the professionals – we’re very excited about that.”
Keen to build the excitement even further, organizers have planned a Giro Expo located at Hastings and Madison featuring displays from event sponsors and vendors from the Heights neighbourhood along with a beer garden featuring Steamworks Brewing Company to create a carnival atmosphere.
“As a relative newcomer to the Burnaby area, Steamworks is thrilled to participate in and support such an iconic Burnaby event like the Giro di Burnaby,” explained Steamworks President Walter Cosman. “We believe strongly in giving back to the community, and we’re confident that teaming up with the Giro will help the event to grow and flourish for years to come.”
A special fun day is also planned for kids from 3 – 5 pm with Girolino, which is hosted by Burnaby Parks and Recreation and North Burnaby Neighbourhood House. Included for the kids is bike decorating, bike safety checks, ID engraving on bikes, and a skills/obstacle course and riding area put on by HUB and Pedalheads. Dandy Horse Cycles will be on site for bike repairs and maintenance tips for adults and kids alike.
“We are ecstatic about the new additions to the Giro this year, and we hope the entire community is too,” added Race Organizer Rainy Kent. “The Giro di Burnaby is a community celebration and every year we try to make the show just a little bit better for everyone. We think we’ve accomplished that this year and we can’t wait for July 16th to arrive!”
Last year saw UnitedHealthcare rider Luke Keough of Germany claim the pink jersey as the winner on the men’s side after an exciting sprint finish, while Erica Allar of Team Colavita/Bianchi claimed the women’s title at the Giro in 2014.
Born from the idea of City Councillor Pietro Calendino, the Giro di Burnaby is named as a tribute to the city’s Italian community and to the world famous Giro d’Italia. The race made its debut in 2006, attracting 7,000 spectators to the historic area of Hastings Street affectionately known as The Heights. The following year, the Giro di Burnaby joined BC Superweek, attracting more than 200 riders. The next five Giro races have seen an increase in community support and participation producing a list of winners that includes some of North America’s best cyclists.
BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $120,000 in prize money available during eight races over nine days. BC Superweek runs from July 10 – 18, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 10, 11, 12), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 14), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 15), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development (July 16) and Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock (July 17, 18).