June 18, 2014 (Delta, BC) – On behalf of The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson announced at a media conference today the awarding of a $50,000 Hosting Grant from Sport Canada to the Tour de Delta, which includes the White Spot | Delta UCI 1.2 Road Race.
“Delta is fortunate to have strong support and partnerships for our community projects and events, and today I am especially grateful to the Government of Canada, the Sport Canada Hosting Program, and Cycling Canada for supporting the White Spot Delta UCI Road Race with this $50,000 hosting grant,” said Mayor Lois E. Jackson.
The grant is a tremendous contribution to the overall growth of the UCI 1.2 White Spot | Delta Road Race, which was won in 2013 by Steve Fisher (then with then with Hagens Berman Cycling, now with Team Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis). Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the White Spot | Delta Road Race on the women’s side last year.
“This grant acknowledges the efforts made by the community, sponsors and the Corporation of Delta in supporting the inclusion of the women’s race as a 1.2 UCI event this year. We are very pleased to be working with Cycling BC and Cycling Canada to provide a training ground for coaches and officials, as it’s vital that we have well trained individuals working in the sport,” noted Race Director Mark Ernsting at the media conference. “Without this grant, the future of the sport wouldn’t be as stable as it will be now with the proper leaders involvedŠ and it’s only getting bigger. For example, last year we had 51 women on the start line and this year, with teams registering on a weekly basis, we anticipate well more than 70.”
Cycling Canada President John Tolkamp was also in attendance this morning and he stressed how far funding like this can go towards inspiring young athletes to get involved in the sport.
“The funding for the event supports our strategic goals of developing cycling in Canada, a key priority being the women’s road sector. Women’s road cycling will benefit greatly from this additional support and resources from Sport Canada,” said Tolkamp. “Road cycling is an area where we believe Canada is, and can be, competitive internationally. Having a race in Canada where we can collect international qualification points allows more Canadian athletes to participate. When you combine that with “home field” advantage, it allows our cyclists the opportunity to maximize qualify points.”
Meanwhile, the international profile of the BC Superweek series and the Tour de Delta is growing more and more due to the support of Cycling Canada and valuable community partners.
“Having an international race in the BC Superweek series has really increased the attendance of international riders. This is one of our goals to bring international calibre racing to British Columbia. This year, we expect to see 12 different nations represented among the athletes racing on various teams,” Ernsting added. “On behalf of everyone involved, we thank Cycling Canada and Sport Canada for their support with this Hosting Grant.”
BC Superweek features $120,000 in prize money available during nine races over 10 days. BC Superweek runs from July 4-13, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 4, 5, 6), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 8), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 9), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Developments (July 10) and the Tour de White Rock (July 11, 12, 13). For more information, visit www.bcsuperweek.ca.