3-Time US National Champion Kendall Ryan Loves Racing at the Tour de Delta
Photo credit: Scott Robarts
19th Edition Features Pro Cycling and More in North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen
Now into its 19th year, the Tour de Delta has grown into an event that not only attracts residents from across the Lower Mainland to see some of the best professional cyclists – but also take part in many family-friendly and fun activities during the July 5th to 7th weekend.
On Friday, July 5th, the North Delta Community Festival celebrates sport, recreation and culture in the community with an opportunity to try a variety of sports and experience the City of Delta, along with entertainment for everyone. Saturday, July 6th sees the addition of a Kids’ Zone in the Harbour Centre Parking Lot in Ladner Village where kids can perfect their bike safety skills, race through an obstacle course, and take part in a wide variety of activities. The White Spot | Delta Road Race on Sunday, July 7th features the always-popular South Delta Community Festival in Dennison Park across from the start/finish line.
In addition to the fun available to spectators, the Tour de Delta has become a favourite among riders too, including Ventura, California’s Kendall Ryan, who won all three races last year. It kicked off a run that saw her win five times and reach the podium six times during BC Superweek.
“Last year I showed up to BC Superweek with a pretty ruthless mindset. I knew I felt good, having Pro Nationals the week before. I was extremely frustrated with my performance there and how the races played out in both the crit and road race. I think I just had something to prove to myself and I was going to try to win as many races as I could,” explained Ryan, who rides for TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank and is a three-time US National Champion.
It was Ryan’s familiarity with all three Tour de Delta courses that led to the trio of wins a year ago. She is a back-to-back winner of the White Spot | Delta Road Race in Tsawwassen.
“The White Spot | Delta Road Race has to be one of my personal favorites. It is a course that suits my strengths and it is also a race where you have to really pay attention. It has so many corners, flowing terrain, technical bits and a long drawn out sprint where it’s important to have good timing,” added the 26-year-old who was born into a family of cyclists. “It really is such a great course, the loops are like the shape of a butterfly. I love how sprinters like me can hang on the short hills for a bunch sprint or how a breakaway can get out of sight with all the turns.
Although she’s been dominant over the last two years at the White Spot | Delta Road Race, Ryan is a pure sprinter with speed to burn. It means all eyes will be on her as a major player at the North Delta and Ladner Criteriums.
“North Delta is a hard course, last year my teammate Emily Newsome and I ended up in a breakaway – we took the first downhill left hand turn as fast as we could on every lap to save energy for the uphill drag on the other side of the course. It’s a battle to the last turn with the finish line less than 100m after it,” described Ryan. “The Ladner Criterium looks simple on the map, but it’s not. The start/finish straightaway is about half the size of the back straight, which makes for some difficult maneuvering for the finish. That course is all about fighting for position into the final corners. The finish line is pretty far from the last corner, which suits my sprint well.”
After taking a break from cycling in April at her home base in California, Ryan is feeling strong heading into this week’s USA Cycling Pro Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee after which she’ll travel north to defend her titles at the Tour de Delta and BC Superweek.