DELTA — The Tour de Delta cycling race has been given a financial boost in the form of a $50,000 hosting grant from Sport Canada.
The funding was announced today by Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, who serves as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
“This race, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale, is a big deal for cycling—and a big deal for sport in Delta, in British Columbia and in Canada,” Qualtrough said at a press event held at Delta’s municipal hall, in Ladner.
Race organizers says the money will be an “exceptional contribution to the overall growth” of the UCI 1.2 White Spot Delta Road Race, which was won in 2015 by Illinois-based rider Eric Young. Groton, Massachusetts native Shelley Olds (then with Alé-Cipollini, now with Cylance Pro Cycling) won the women’s race as part of a dominating performance at BC Superweek that saw her finish on the podium in eight straight races.
“I know from personal experience how sport, through events such as this race, can help foster more active and inclusive communities,” Qualtrough added.
“Many thanks and best of luck to the athletes, coaches, officials and race organizers, and especially to the local volunteers, whose contributions will ensure a very successful event.”
Her comments were included in a press release emailed to the Now by BC Superweek.
(Pictured at today’s funding announcement, from left to right: Cal Traversy, Tour de Delta Co-Chair; Warren Erhart, White Spot President & CEO; Carla Qualtrough, PC, QC, MP for Delta and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities; Mayor Lois E. Jackson, Corporation of Delta; John Tolkamp, Cycling Canada President; Councillor Robert Campbell, Corporation of Delta; Jim Richards, Cycling BC Executive Director; Mark Ernsting, Tour de Delta Race Director.)
Traversy said the grant, along with community support, is imperative to the success of the event.
White Spot Restaurants has strongly supported the Tour de Delta for a number of years.
“We are so proud and fortunate to be part of this community event showcasing Delta to some of the best riders in the world,” said Erhart.
Cycling Canada’s Tolkamp said a grant like this has a huge impact in helping to grow the sport and inspire young athletes to start to ride.
“This event, particularly the women’s race, supports our strategic goals for developing cycling in Canada,” he stated. “The additional support and resources the grant brings will ensure a successful event and helps provide Canadian cyclists with a high level event on home soil.”
BC Superweek, one of Canada’s biggest professional cycling series, features more than $125,000 in prize money available during eight races over 10 days. The series runs from July 8 to 17, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 8, 9, 10), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 13), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development (July 14), PoCo Grand Prix p/b Dominion Lending Centres (July 15), and Tour de White Rock p/b Steve Nash Fitness World (July 16, 17). For more information, visit Bcsuperweek.ca.