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

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Sooke resident Nathan Hanson popped both his driver’s side tires on a pothole near a construction site on Sooke Road. Hanson said he was following a line of traffic and was just before the 17 Mile Pub when he drove over the pothole. (Photo contributed/Nathan Hanson)
Driver blows two tires on pothole near construction site on Sooke Road

Ministry of Transportation says keeping highways in good condition a priority

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

Rebecca Lang of Any Thyme Gardening installed a seed exchange library in front of her home on Beechwood Avenue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Victoria gardeners scramble to create local seed exchanges

Fairfield resident’s seed exchange an instant hit

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Vancouver Islander selected to Canada’s first-ever national skateboard team

Courtenay’s Shay Sandiford has his eye on qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Most Read