Canada’s greatest criterium bike race, the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, is hitting the city’s oldest streets tonight.
Watch North America’s top cyclists race wheel-to-wheel on Gastown’s thrilling 1.2 km course with the infamous hairpin corner.
The schedule for todays races includes the following:
And to help you see why it’s an event that you don’t want to miss, we’ve compiled a list of 20 reasons you should check it out.
It’s one of Gastown’s biggest and best parties of the year. With 20,000 spectators, 250 racers, three great races and plenty of pubs, clubs and restaurants to enjoy, Gastown is the place to be on Wednesday July 12.
As a free event, the price is more than just right – it’s perfect. Now you’ve got extra cash for a delicious pint or a donation to the crowd prize that the riders race for with just a few laps left in the race.
With Gastown just about the easiest and quickest place to get to using pubic transit, leave the car at home and get here by walking, SkyTrain, SeaBus, or any other emissions-free mode of transportation.
Attending this great Canadian race is a fantastic way to celebrate our nation’s 150th year. This year, the race will kick off a rousing rendition of our national anthem by Vancouver Whitecaps singer Marie Hui.
It’s amazing to watch athletes doing something most of us can do, like riding a bike, but doing it at incredibly fast speeds. The Global Relay Gastown Grand prix gives fans a chance to line a racecourse just inches away from professional riders flying by at 50 to 65 km per hour, while bumping elbows and shoulders, and their wheels just inches from each other.
From Lotus and Maserati to Tesla and Lamborghini, Gastown always features the latest machines on two and four wheels. This year, the race will unveil the Lexus (LC 500) as its newest pace car.
The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix is the place to meet the national team riders who will represent Canada at upcoming Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan American Games.
She’s one of Canada’s top pro riders and a two-time Gastown winner. Leah (Team Sunweb) will be going for a record-tying third victory tomorrow.
The view is great and the action is fast no matter where you shoot from. This amazing shot by Vancouver photographer Stefan Feldmann won him top prize in a worldwide photo competition in 2016.
The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix is so hip, even the chief commissaire (referee) is a star. Vancouver’s Wayne Pomario is one of the world’s top cycling officials, who famously fined Lance Armstrong for an infraction during a major race. Lance was not amused.
Race fans have made the Gastown Grand Prix one of Vancouver’s favourite events since 1973, when bike shorts were really short and helmets and safety fencing were optional.
The forecast calls for sun tomorrow, but even if it pours, North America’s best riders will be ready to tackle Gastown’s slippery brick roads.
Gastown has a unique 1.2 km long race course famous for its bricks, cobblestones, signature hairpin turn (at Water and Cordova), historic downtown setting and start-finish line located next to Gastown’s famous Steamclock. The route takes riders up Water Street, around the hairpin turn at Cordova Street and Water Street, down Cordova, around Maple Tree Square and the Gassy Jack statue and back up Water Street.
The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix has the biggest criterium winning prizes in North America with the men and women each racing for a whopping $12,000 winning prize and thousands more for placings and mid-race lap sprints called primes.
Hit the stage area for the post-race awards ceremony and you might just catch some bubbly or the bouquet of flowers the winners traditionally throw to the crowd.
Few sports give kids a chance to get so close to their sporting heroes. Race fans in Gastown will have a chance to meet the nicest pro athletes anywhere warming up in Rider Alley before their races (on Abbott Street) and along the course after the races.
It’s one of the most famous turns in North American bike racing with plenty of thrills, spills and great viewing spots down low and up high in the parkade.
Ever wonder how that turn looked more than one hundred years ago?
We’ve got more than 230 riders hitting the bricks tomorrow. Taking on riders from seven Canadian provinces will be riders from Australia, England, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, and 17 states across the US.
The men’s trophy is a chamberpot donated by race founder Roger Sumner in the early 1970s, while the women’s trophy was created by Gastown artist and business owner Ross McMillan in 2005.
After the race, Gastown has bars and restaurants galore to unwind at and swap stories about an unforgettable evening of racing. You can check out all of the happy hour deals on offer right here.
Where: Start/finish line next to Gastown’s steam clock. Spectators can line the route along Water, Cordova, and Carrall streets.
When: Wednesday, July 12
Time: Youth race at 5:30 pm, opening ceremonies at 5:55 pm, women’s race at 6:15 pm, men’s race at 7:30 pm.