BC SUPERWEEK WELCOME BACK GIRO DI BURNABY FOR 2011
BC Superweek is pleased to welcome back the popular Giro di Burnaby for 2011, pushing the total number of races to seven for next summer, and the total purse to $55,000, making it one of Canada’s biggest weeks of bike racing.
The Giro di Burnaby, a fast-paced evening criterium through Burnaby Heights, will take place in the middle of BC Superweek вЂ“ between the $25,000, three-race Tour de Delta and the $15,000, three-race Tour de White Rock.
The Giro di Burnaby, which ran from 2006 to 2008 before running into funding problems, has a minimum three-year commitment through 2013, with a purse of $15,000, thanks to renewed title sponsorship from local businesses Embassy Development, Appia Development and Palladio Jewellers
Andrew Pinfold, a long-time pro from North Vancouver who now rides for US-based United Healthcare Pro Cycling, was excited to hear the news вЂ“ and not just because he finally gets to defend his 2008 Giro di Burnaby title.
“This is awesome news,” said Pinfold. “Having a race midweek between Delta and White Rock anchors the series as it makes BC Superweek even more attractive for professional teams to send riders up for the entire series.”
Pinfold hopes the return of the popular Burnaby race will spur on others to add races вЂ“ and lead to another rebirth of the prestigious Tour de Gastown, a race that listed Lance Armstrong among its alumni before folding in 2008.
“This proves that bike racing is as popular as ever in the lower mainland and I hope encourages other municipalities to put on races,” he said. “With the addition of Burnaby there are still three nights available for races. I think everyone would love to see a return of Gastown, and perhaps a race on the North Shore or Kits.”
Born from the idea of city councilor Pietro Calendino, the Giro Di Burnaby вЂ“ named as a tribute to the area’s Italian community and to the world famous Giro d’Italia вЂ“ made its debut in 2006, attracting 7,000 spectators to the historic area of Hastings Street known as Burnaby Heights. The following year it joined the BC Superweek series, attracting more than 200 riders to the next two races, and producing a list of winners that includes some of North America’s best.
In addition to Pinfold, there was 2006 US Criterium champion Hilton Clarke, three-time US champion Kirk O’Bee, Canadian Olympian Gina Grain, and future US Olympian Kelly Benjamin have all won at the Giro di Burnaby.
“The Giro and BC Superweek races are not only embraced by their communities, the public and the businesses, they have become wonderful annual events that bring out big crowds and support for the racers,” said Giro di Burnaby organizer Rainy Kent.В ”As a spectator,В feeling the wind of theВ riders as they race by in excess of 60 kilometres per hour is an experience that leaves you respecting the hours of training the athletes invest in being the best they can be. The Giro is a celebration of exceptional athletic talent, community involvement and spirit and we are delighted to be back on the race calendar for 2011.”
The 2010 BC Superweek continues with the 31st Tour de White Rock this weekend, with the Homelife Hillclimb on Friday night, the Maximum Collision Criterium on Saturday, and the Peace Arch News Road Race on Sunday.