Gastown gears up for Grand Prix

Cyclists will compete Wednesday for the title of Gastown Grand Prix champion.

The pro cycling race is just one of 9 races included in B.C. Superweek

Ken Hanson, winner of the 2012 Gastown Grand Prix men's event. (Greg Descantes)

More than 130 male and 63 female cyclists will hit the road on Wednesday to lay claim to the title of Gastown Grand Prix champion.

The race is Canada's oldest one-day cycling classic with great names like Ron Hayman, Alex Steida, Alison Sydor and Clara Hughes taking to the cobblestone.

"If you look at everyone who's won the event over the years, they've all gone on to an incredibly successful career, " said race director Mark Ernsting in an interview with Stephen Quinn on The Early Edition.

"That provides a real buzz around wanting to participate in the event for the next generation coming about."

The race is a criterium, also called a crit, which is defined as a closed course, mass start race. Cyclists travel around the course for a set number of laps or time, usually over a distance of 800 to 1,500 meters.

The women's race begins at 6:15 p.m. PT and the men's race starts at 7:30 p.m.

Cycling fans have their pick of races to watch this week:

  • Tuesday, July 9: UBC Grand Prix.
  • Wednesday, July 10: Gastown Grand Prix.
  • Thursday, July 11: Giro di Burnaby.
  • July 12 to 14: Tour de White Rock.

The Early Edition is on every weekday from 5:30 to 8:37 a.m PT on CBC Radio One at 88.1FM or 690AM.