BC Superweek & Giro di Burnaby Help Inspire Next Generation of Cyclists

Burnaby, BC – For riders competing in BC Superweek, the motivation varies. For some, it’s a way to earn big prize money, for others, it’s an opportunity to measure their abilities against some of the best riders in the world. Regardless of the motivating factor, every rider who takes to the course is leaving an impression on youth who could become the next Svein Tuft, Christian Meier, Alison Sydor, or Leah Kirchmann.

The Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development this Thursday and is just one of the BC Superweek events which embraces how important it is to inspire youth in the sport of cycling. Event day for the Giro starts with the Girolino from 3 to 5 pm. Burnaby Parks and Recreation and the North Burnaby Neighborhood House invite kids 4 to 12 to participate in bike decorating, bike safety checks, a skills/obstacle course and riding area put on by HUB and Pedalheads, with drinks and snacks provided by Whole Foods Market.

The Boffo Breve follows the Girolino in the day of Burnaby cycling entertainment, where spectators will see boys and girls between 12 and 16 race on the same hairpin Giro di Burnaby course the professional cyclists race on, just 30 minutes before the women’s pro race begins.

“We’re so proud to be part of the BC Superweek Youth Series with the Boffo Breve,” said Boffo Developments Ltd. Director Sandra Boffo. “I am definitely passionate about kids and their involvement with sport! Being involved in sport teaches dedication, hard-work, confidence, self-esteem, health and wellness, teamwork… the list is really endless.”

The massive crowd gathered on Hastings Street to watch the Giro di Burnaby this year can also play a role in helping kids get involved in healthy activities like cycling as 10 percent of the crowd prime will be donated to Exceleration, which is a multisport club that caters to children and youth of all abilities and backgrounds. The club offers a venue for athletes from different sports to keep fit and cross train for fun, family and fitness.

Cody Canning, a Victoria-based rider who races for Accent Inns/Russ Hays Cycling Team p/b Champion System, is a five-time participant at the Giro di Burnaby, finishing twice in the top ten. Canning stresses the importance of getting youth interested in cycling.

“Cycling is a great lifelong sport that people can do in any way their personality dictates. It’s great for unleashing your competitive spirit, teaching focus and discipline, and is a great environmentally responsible and healthy form of transportation,” he explained. “I was introduced to dozens of sports as a kid and eventually got hooked on mountain biking. The sense of freedom and exploration in riding a bike, the technical aspect of the equipment, and fast, fun competition were unrivalled in any other sport.”

Canning is a BC Superweek veteran who finished second at the Canadian National Criterium Championship in 2012. He believes events like the Giro di Burnaby’s Girolino and Boffo Breve are imperative to keeping the most important aspect of the sport clear to kids.

“The main thing any young athlete should focus on is keeping it fun and not taking themselves too seriously. Find a positive cycling club or group of friends that help push your abilities and pass on their experience,” he said.

Born from an idea of City Councillor Pietro Calendino, the Giro di Burnaby is named as a tribute to the city’s Italian community and 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 seven 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 cycling series and features more than $125,000 in prize money available during eight races over ten days. BC Superweek runs from July 8 – 17, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 8, 9, 10), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 13), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development (July 14), PoCo Grand Prix p/b Dominion Lending Centres (July 15), and Steve Nash Fitness World presents the Tour de White Rock (July 16, 17). For more information, visit www.bcsuperweek.ca.