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New West Grand Prix cancelled for 2021

Second consecutive cancellation because of COVID-19
new-west-grand-prix
Cyclists won't be taking to the streets of downtown New Westminster in July 2021 as part of the New West Grand Prix. File

New Westminster’s Grand Prix has once again been derailed by COVID-19.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, BC Superweek has postponed the annual professional cycling series until July 2022 at the earliest. The series includes the New West Grand Prix, Tour de Delta, Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby, PoCo Grand Prix and the Tour de White Rock.

Launched in 2017, the New West Grand Prix features a 935-metre circuit in downtown New Westminster. Cyclists race 45 to 55 laps through the circuit that begins on Columbia Street, heads up Eighth Street, travels along Carnarvon Street and descends down Sixth Street, where cyclists turn back onto Columbia Street.

Like 2020, this July’s race has been cancelled by the pandemic.

BC Superweek said its members did not make a decision lightly about postponing the event another year, but did so out of a concern about the safety of athletes and spectators.

“Amid the pandemic, there was a lot of deliberation among the BC Superweek members about the status of this year’s series,” BC Superweek series director Mark Ernsting said in a news release. “The well-being of everyone involved was the top consideration, and the members look forward to bringing the series back once it is safe to do so.”

According to the news release, BC Superweek races require significant planning, so the uncertainty of the coming months makes it difficult for organizing teams to make the necessary arrangements normally required at this time.

“BC Superweek members also respect that many businesses and partners are affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic and unable to make sponsorship commitments at this time. Fortunately, many regular sponsors spoke positively about potentially supporting future BC Superweek events,” said the news release. “Individual city budgets for next year are in preliminary discussions as well, so BC Superweek members hope to be able to confirm the status of the 2022 series later this fall.”

Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series, BC Superweek features more than $140,000 in prize money with nine races over 10 days.

 

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
Email tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca

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