Tour de White Rock presented by Landmark Premiere Properties celebrates 40th Anniversary
Saturday Criterium Features Kids’ Race, Live Entertainment, Marketplace and More!
There are a lot of reasons to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Tour de White Rock Presented by Landmark Premiere Properties, but probably the biggest reason is how the event marries the tradition of arguably the most prestigious bike race in Canada – the Westminster Savings Road Race – while enhancing the spectator experience at the Choices Markets Criterium.
Saturday’s criterium will see not only world-class cyclists zip around the one kilometre loop surrounding White Rock Elementary, but also the addition of a marketplace featuring live entertainment, food trucks, beverage garden, family fun zone and kids’ races. The day wraps up after the race with the TD Concert Series at Five Corners to celebrate the 40th Anniversary. The concert is to help raise funds to rebuild the City’s iconic pier, which was broken in half by a violent storm last December.
“The Tour de White Rock brings top cyclists from around the world, and the twists and turns of the hillside and oceanfront views make it one of the City’s most exciting events,” said City of White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker. “Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, the events and family activities are going to be spectacular! On behalf of White Rock City Council, I’d like to thank our sponsors, City staff, the many volunteers who help out year after year, and the amazing fans and spectators that cheer on the athletes! We look forward to seeing you July 13th and 14th.”
The Westminster Savings Road Race on Sunday is a 134 kilometre grind for the men and 80 kilometre trek for the women that sees the cyclists face 2300 metres of elevation gain. Damien O’Hagan is a former competitor at the Tour de White Rock and the event’s current stage announcer.
“The Tour de White Rock offers pretty much the complete challenge for all types of riders. The criterium favours the power and speed rider because of the incline on back side of course as well as fast aggression out of the corners,” explained O’Hagan. “The road race can be super challenging. Over the years it seems to play into the hands of the seasoned riders who control the front end of the race with a minimal output of energy, and then once the race hits the final laps, the riders who have conserved themselves and still have some power left in their legs are the ones going for the win.”
The 2019 Tour de White Rock also signifies a massive change behind the scenes as long-time volunteer Barry Dalziel has informed the City that this is his last year on the organizing team. Dalziel spent close to a decade as Chair of the event’s Board of Directors and was also head marshall for almost ten years as well. Dalziel decided it was time to move on to new challenges and give others an opportunity to get involved.
“I’ve watched the race grow from a regional focus with most riders being local to the region to an international race featuring Olympians, national champions, Tour de France, Vuelta, and Giro European road racers,” said Dalziel. “We’ve seen the incredible growth of women’s racers competing at the highest levels with teams from all around the world taking part. In addition, the overall development of professional cycling in the Lower Mainland where the Tour de White Rock was the basis for the development of BC Superweek.”
For the road race, the start-finish line and stage have moved back to their traditional location at the White Rock Pierhead, continuing to provide the majestic backdrop that spectators, riders and their teams have marveled since 1980.
“I truly believe that the Tour de White Rock gives the City the identity of being a community of involved citizens who are proud to call the area home,” said O’Hagan. “The evidence of this is in the participation of volunteers we get who are willing to stand on the street in all sort of weather elements to keep the riders and spectators safe and at the same time make it a fun, family event for the city.”
For the last 40 years, the Tour de White Rock has exposed the beautiful vistas and citizens of the City to an international community, making it one of the longest consecutive running bike races in North America – which is something for the relatively small inclusive community of nearly 20,000 to be extremely proud of.