BC Superweek and Giro di Burnaby celebrate community ties

The centre of a community is like a heart, beating in time with everything going on around it. And there will be a lot going on in the heart of The Heights neighbourhood on Thursday, July 10th as thousands of spectators and hundreds of riders converge for the seventh edition of the Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Developments.

Much like the heart works hard to keep the body moving, the heart of the Giro di Burnaby is the community itself. Corporate partnerships, countless volunteers, passionate fans, and dedicated staff are integral to an event like this being so successful.

“My family has always had a love of cycling and being part of the Giro gives me an opportunity to ‘give back’ to the city where I grew up and continue to do business,” said Appia Development President Jim Bosa. “I’m a true Burnaby boy at heart and I know the community well, which is why I have such a love, passion and vision for the neighbourhood my family and I have helped shape throughout the years.”

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 four Giro races saw an increase in community support and participation producing a list of winners that includes some of North America’s best.

“The Giro di Burnaby is truly all about community,” explained Race Organizer Rainy Kent. “Everyone is involved, from the Giro wheel pastry The Valley Bakery bakes just for the event, to the number of local families who open their doors and host our visiting riders, to the majority of the primes that are provided by The Heights Merchants Association. The community really bands together to make the Giro di Burnaby nothing less than fabulous.”

Last year saw Team Baier Landshut rider Florenz Knauer of Germany claim the pink jersey as the winner on the men’s side after an exciting sprint finish, while 2012 Canadian Olympian Denise Ramsden of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies claimed the women’s title at the Giro in 2013.

Meanwhile, a team of more than 250 volunteers combine to put in more than 2,000 hours of time to make the experience of the Giro di Burnaby one to remember for fans, riders and businesses in The Heights neighbourhood.

“We are property owners in The Heights and like to see these community events close to home. I like to be a part of how these things happen and experience the excitement of the Giro from inside the fence,” said longtime Giro di Burnaby volunteer Barry Poole. “It is satisfying to know that I am helping to keep both the athletes and public safe and able to enjoy the quality event the Giro has become.”

“To refer to the centre of a community – like The Heights neighbourhood of Burnaby – as the heart of the city is an excellent and fitting comparison,” said Kent. “It takes the collective passion and dedication of those in the community to keep the heart of the city working – and beating as one – just as it does for the Giro di Burnaby.”

BC Superweek features $120,000 in prize money available during nine races over 10 days. BC Superweek runs from July 4-13, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 4, 5, 6), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 8), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 9), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Developments (July 10) and the Tour de White Rock (July 11, 12, 13). For more information, visitwww.bcsuperweek.ca.