B.C.'s cycling superweek kicks off tonight with Tour de Delta

There are going to be some super busy cyclists in Metro Vancouver this week once B.C. Superweek gets rolling this evening in Delta.

Friday night race in Delta is first of nine races attracting cyclists from around the world

Cyclists from around the world will be taking part in the UCI sanctioned White Spot Delta Road Race on Sunday. (Tour De Delta)

There are going to be some super busy cyclists in Metro Vancouver this week once B.C. Superweek gets rolling tonight in Delta.

About 200 riders from all over North America and Europe are expected to be on the start line for the Delta Criterium, the first of nine races over the next ten days.

The opening event is one of two criterium races on Friday and Saturday in which cyclists loop round short tracks in Delta and Ladner.

Richard Wooles, the executive director of Cycling B.C., says the criteriums are thrilling for spectators.

"You have to hold onto whatever you got going. They come past 65 to 70 kilometres an hour maybe during a finishing sprint and a big pack of people over a hundred plus really moves a lot of wind."

For cyclists its actually the longer road race on Sunday which is the main attractions since it is now now sanctioned by cycling's international governing body, the UCI, making the race a magnet for international competitors.

After that many stick around to take part in follow up events at UBC, Gastown, Burnaby and WhiteRock, says Wooles. The total prize money for the week is $120,000.

"People come in en masse. They will be driving their trucks here from Florida and California or flying over from Europe. And they kind of camp out here for the whole period.And they will do the whole thing and there are some phenomenal prizes this year."

"It really is a very prestigious event in the calendar for all cyclists," says Wooles.

B.C. Superweek runs July 4 to 13, and include the Tour de Delta, UBC Grand Prix, Global Relay Gastown, Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby, and Tour de White Rock. Road closures will be in effect for most of the races.

With files from Terry Donnelly

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