The Gastown Grand Prix has a long history of pushing professional cyclists to the limits of speed and endurance while thrilling spectators with some of the most exciting bike racing in North America. If you have yet to experience a criterium race, this is nothing like what you might have seen before.
Often overlooked in place of races with F1 cars and motorbikes, cyclists at this level go much faster than you’d expect them to. To feel the rush of the wind as the pack hits hard along the straight, to watch hundreds of riders give it their all, continuosly for 40 and 50 laps, to be there at the finish line when the frontrunner emerges into victory – this is something you don’t want to miss.
There are many exceptional athletes taking part in Wednesdays races. Here are a few to watch out for.
(defending champion 2017)
Young is an eight-year pro who won the US National Criterium Championships in both 2011 and 2013. The Boulder, Colorado resident is the defending back-to-back champion at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and had top-10 finishes at the race in 2013 and 2014. This year, he looks to join Ron Hayman, Gina Grain and Verna Buhler as the only cyclists to win the prestigious race three times. The 29-year-old is a three-time stage winner at the Grand Prix Cycliste Saguenay and a four-time stage winner at the Tour of the Gila, including two wins last year.
A cyclist since age three, Caves is a decorated track cyclist for Canada. The Vancouverite won silver at the 2015 Pan American Track Cycling Championships in the scratch and the 2016 Pan American Track Cycling Championships in the team pursuit, which set a Canadian record. The 23-year-old has ten national championship wins during his career in addition to gold medals in the omnium at the 2016 Pan-Am Games and team pursuit at the 2017 Pan-Am Games.
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
A familiar face at BC Superweek over the years, Fisher took top spot at the Tour de White Rock Peace Arch News Road Race last year. He also had first place finishes in the general classification and points classification at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay in 2017. He won the White Spot | Delta Road Race in 2012 and 2013 and finished third in 2016. The 28-year-old from Bellingham, Washington sees BC Superweek as almost a hometown series as he has made the trip north for several years. Fisher is also an avid cyclocross rider.
Holowesko|Citadel Cycling Team
Dahlheim’s parents told him he had to choose either bike racing or college. He chose bike racing and it looks like it was a pretty good decision. The 30-year-old Texan has three top-5 finishes so far in 2018, including a second place at the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium in April. He also won the Sprint Classification at the 2016 Cascade Cycling Classic.
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
(defending champion 2017)
Ryan has momentum coming into BC Superweek, as she won the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California in May. The 25-year-old was born into a family of cyclists and began racing BMX at 6-years-old. She won the 2017 White Spot | Delta Road Race and was dominant in the middle races of BC Superweek last year. In addition to winning the White Spot | Delta Road Race, she was first at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and the PoCo Grand Prix. Ryan also finished third at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau last year. She turned pro in 2011 and is a three-time US national champion –including 2015 US National Criterium Champion.
Bergen finished third at last month’s Canadian National Championship Road Race as well as at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau. She has ten top-10 finishes this year, including four podiums at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Arkansas earlier this spring. The BC Institute of Technology grad from Coquitlam, BC had four top-10 finishes at BC Superweek in 2017, including second at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, fifth at the MK Delta Lands Criterium, eighth at the White Spot | Delta Road Race and tenth at the Giro di Burnaby.
Macogep-Argon18-Girondins de Bordeaux p/b Mazda
Coles-Lyster is a rising star in Canadian cycling. The 19-year-old from Maple Ridge, BC has been racing against the pros at BC Superweek since she was 15, and last year served notice that she is a force to be reckoned with. Among her top-10 finishes at BC Superweek in 2017, Coles-Lyster was second in the PoCo Grand Prix, fourth at the Choices Markets Criterium, and fifth at the Peace Arch News Road Race and Giro di Burnaby. A candidate for Canada’s 2020 Olympic team, she won the women’s race at the 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
Laura van Gilder
Don’t let Van Glider’s age fool you, as the cycling veteran can give riders half her age a run for their money. The 53-year-old has close to 400 career first-place finishes. An owner of two degrees from the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania in hospitality and hotel management, van Gilder turned pro in 1992. She represented the USA at the 2002 and 2005 UCI Road World Championships and is active in both cyclocross and mountain biking in addition to road racing. The Pocono Pines, Pennsylvania native has raced BC Superweek several times over the years and won the Giro di Burnaby in 2012.