Cycle fest rides into awesomeness

Tour de Victoria a success, say organizers

Tour de France hometown hero Ryder Hesjedal (pointing) heads out with fellow riders on the inaugural Tour de Victoria from Belleville Street.

Tour de France hometown hero Ryder Hesjedal (pointing) heads out with fellow riders on the inaugural Tour de Victoria from Belleville Street.

Mission accomplished.

Those are among the first words Seamus McGrath said as he reflected on the success of the inaugural Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria.

“My original vision of how this event could look and feel and operate – that’s exactly how it went on Saturday,” said McGrath, the tour’s founding director.

The same can be said for the weekend lineup of cycling events in the new Victoria International Cycling Festival, which kicked off Friday night and continues in downtown Victoria until June 12.

Enthusiasm among spectators was high during several new features, from a 400-metre sprint to the longer time trials, as well as the returning Bastion Square Grand Prix and Tim Bits kids challenge.

“The vibe, the feeling of them was all great and I have a feeling they’re all going to grow and become really part of the (cycling) culture,” said festival organizer, Rob Fawcett.

Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria attracted 1,350 cyclists from as far away as Nova Scotia and Texas. Upwards of 800 riders registered for the 140-kilometre course, about 400 for the 90-km and 150 participants cycled the four-kilometre community ride in downtown Victoria.

More than 500 volunteers were involved, including more than 300 road marshals, who ensured vehicle traffic and cyclists didn’t mix at intersections throughout 13 municipalities.

The event was marked by some minor collisions between cyclists, others suffered from rain-related hypothermia, and there were traffic tie-ups in James Bay where crowds gathered for cycling and to watch the start of the annual Swiftsure international yacht race on Saturday, said tour spokesperson Kim Van Bruggen.

The Swiftsure has, in part, prompted organizers to move the date of next year’s Tour de Victoria by a month to June 24. The extra time will also allow more cyclists to train for the event longer and in better weather, said Van Bruggen.

It’s still too soon to know if the Tour de Victoria will once again coincide with the cycling fest, which could be expanded from two weeks to a month next year, said Fawcett. “The objective is to grow the festival. How it will take shape, we’re not exactly sure yet,” he said.

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Four residents and two cats were displaced from their home in James Bay when a fire broke out Sunday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
No injuries in James Bay house fire

Fire broke out at about 2 p.m. Sunday

A single-vehicle incident has closed southbound traffic along the Pat Bay Highway from Sayward Road Monday morning. Emergency crews are on scene. (Black Press Media file photo)
TRAFFIC: Single-vehicle incident closes section of Pat Bay

Highway southbound from Sayward Road closed Monday morning

University of Victoria researchers received more than $9 million from the federal government for projects that aim to advance big ideas, discoveries and innovations. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
University of Victoria research boosted with more than $9 million in federal funding

The research funding will support a wide range of projects and study

LeoVegas's promotional art for their survey of Canada's funniest proviences (LeoJoker)
B.C. second-funniest province in Canada: online survey

Dry humour popular with B.C. residents – we’re also boisterous laughers

Coun. Bob Thompson wants authorities to delay the June 30 deadline for submissions to BC Housing’s request-for-proposal to run the supportive housing project at Prosser Road. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich calls for delay in supportive housing project deadline

Municipality wants more say in eventual choice of contractor to run supportive housing project

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read