Culture

July 12 2017

It’s Race Day In Gastown!

The 2017 Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix is here.

As Canada’s oldest still running cycling classic, the GGP has a long heritage of supporting professional cyclists and in particular, Canadian athletes. This year marks 42 years of the high impact race tearing along the cobblestone and century old buildings of Gastown.

It’s history is both interesting and valuable, beginning in 1973 when Vancouver native and bike racer, Dr. Roger Sumner, came up with the idea to showcase Canada’s cycling talent.

The GGP is a true Gastown tradition. It’s a colourful, exciting, intense and community based event that brings together many cultures, fans, cyclists, bike enthusiasts, locals and visitors to celebrate all that is worth cheering about in pro competitive criterium racing.

When it comes to riders, the big story is Leah Kirchmann, recently back from Europe and looking for a record-tying third victory.

Leah is a Canadian racing cyclist who competed in the 2013 UCI women’s road race in Florence. At the 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships, held in Lac Megantic, Quebec, she won the road race, time trial and the criterium, becoming the first woman to win all three titles in the same year. Kirchmann originally started mountain biking as summer training for ski racing. She turned professional in 2011 with the Colavita team. When the team dissolved at the end of 2011, Kirchmann followed director Rachel Heal to the new Optum Pro Cycling team in 2012. Kirchmann signed for Team Sunweb on 8 October 2015 for the 2016 season. In 2016, she was officially named in Canada’s 2016 Olympic team.  (source: Wikipedia)

For the men, there are a few big names to look out for. Ryan Anderson, a world tour pro from North Van and Brad Huff, last year’s US Crit Champ.

Ryan Anderson is a Canadian professional road racing cyclist, who currently rides for Direct Énergie. Anderson turned professional in 2008, with Symmetrics and he has also competed for the SpiderTech–C10 and Champion System teams. Born in Edmonton, Anderson spent his childhood years in Spruce Grove, Alberta. Anderson currently resides in North Vancouver and he was named in the startlist for the 2016 Vuelta a España.    (source: Wikipedia)

Brad Huff’s career on a bicycle started as a child at Spokes BMX track in Springfield, Missouri. After his first ride down the large start ramp and rolling through the first turn he was hooked for life. After getting “humbled” in high school track and field meets, Huff bought a mountain bike and started commuting to school to build his endurance. Although his running times got a little better, it was the on the bike that Huff excelled. The 2017 season will be Huff’s 11th year as a professional and he remains one of the fastest sprinters in the domestic peloton.
(source: https://rallycycling.com/team/brad-huff/)

Attendance at this year race is expected to be large. Come to the neighbourhood early and enjoy world class dining in Gastown’s wealth of fine restaurants, café’s, bistros and pubs. There are a ton of Happy Hour options before the race. Get here, come celebrate, secure your spot and shout out loud for The 2017 Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.

See you at finish line!