Giro di Burnaby 2011 (3 of 7)

In addition to our wealth of cultural festivals, Vancouver is also home to a lot of sporting competitions. Since I happened to be in the neighborhood last night, I took the time to check out a local bike race.

The Giro di Burnaby is an annual road bicycle race that pays tribute to “our colorful Italian community and the world famous Giro d’Italia.” The prize purse is worth over $15,000 and some real cycling pros come out to compete. The Giro di Burnaby is what is known as a criterium race, meaning it uses a short course (typically under 2km) and is run on closed-off city center streets. In the case of this race, the course was 1.85 kilometres in length.

The women’s race had about 20 competitors, while the men’s race had over 70. They say that the cyclists reach speeds of up to 60km/h. The competitors were also led and followed by a couple of Ferraris. That must be the “colorful Italian community” kicking in again.

I also thought that the “primes” (pronounced “preems”) were interesting; they offered cash rewards for winners of select laps. The biggest one was a cool $600. That’s for one lap. To put that into perspective, the overall first place finisher in the men’s race took home $2,000.

Given my notoriously bad sense of balance, there’s no way I’d ever compete in something like this. That said, it was a lot of fun to watch. Here’s a video I put together, along with a few photos.

Giro di Burnaby 2011 (4 of 7)

Giro di Burnaby 2011 (6 of 7)

Julia Garnet (pictured below) was the big winner in the women’s race, followed by Jenny Lehmann in second and Karlee Gendron in third. On the men’s side, Cameron MacKinnon won in a photo finish, followed by Bailey McKnight and Justin Kerr. Congratulations to all the winners.

Giro di Burnaby 2011 (7 of 7)