BC Superweek Celebrates Grand Ties as Tour de France Starts

2012 UBC Grand Prix Winner Svein Tuft to Race on Cycling’s Biggest Stage

Instead of being on the Lower Mainland competing in BC Superweek events starting next Friday, one of the series’ biggest supporters – and last year’s UBC Grand Prix winner – 36-year-old Svein Tuft is nearly 8,000 kilometres away, representing ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Tour de France, which started today in Paris.

Tuft left two-thirds of the field sitting on the sidelines early at the second annual UBC Grand Prix last July to win the 50-lap circuit with a time of one hour, three minutes, and 23.86 seconds.

“For the UBC Grand Prix, the community of UBC and Sports Medicine at UBC, we are thrilled that Svein is riding in the Tour of France,” said Dr. Jack Taunton, Chair of the UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahoney & Sons. “We are so proud of Svein, we will be watching him closely and certainly wish him the best of luck.”

Teammate Christian Meier, who will race at this year’s BC Superweek, and Tuft were part of the squad that gave ORICA-GreenEDGE its first Grand Tour stage win last year at the Giro d’Italia, helping set up Tasmanian teammate Matt Goss for the sprint victory.

According to BC Superweek Race Director Mark Ernsting, he feels Tuft is one of the most deserving riders to get the opportunity to ride the Tour. “His philosophy is to keep his head low and focus on taking care of business. He’s an inspiration to many and has always supported BC Superweek.”

Ernsting continued, “Whether it’s a Grand Tour or the UBC Grand Prix, Svein competes in them the same – to win! As a friend and someone who has a good understanding of what it has taken for him to be riding at the highest level of the sport, I wish him well on this next exciting experience.”

Joining Tuft on the Tour de France start line this year is fellow Canadian David Veilleux, who beat Tuft in a sprint at the 2010 Tour de Delta, as well as Victoria’s Ryder Hesjedal.

The list of cyclists with ties to both the Tour de France and BC Superweek is impressive and one that will grow when BC Superweek starts with the three-race Tour de Delta from July 5 to 7. It continues at the Original 16 UBC Grand Prix on July 9, the return of the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix on July 10 and the Giro di Burnaby on July 11. Your last chance to catch the next possible Tour de France winner at the end of your driveway comes at the historic Tour de White Rock, with three races running from July 12 through 14.