New Westminster was was putting its best foot forward when it hosted the Grand Prix cycling event which took place downtown today. While the crowds could have been a bit bigger, it wasn’t a bad showing considering this was the inaugural year.
The emcee positioned at the start/finish line repeatedly stated over and over on the public address system how this was “one of the toughest races on the circuit”. The climb from Columbia to Carnarvon Street followed by a quick acceleration down 6th sure made for a very exciting event – and one that requires high endurance!
You can certainly see how this race has the potential to become a very popular event in a rather short period of time. If it is going to attract more of a crowd, there will need to be more to do “on the street”. However, that can be quite the challenge when so many of the businesses along Columbia are bridal salons which promptly close at the end of the business day.
More needs to be done to animate the street and make these types of events an all-round experience. But I have no doubt, given the unique and challenging nature of the track, it will be a big success in the future.
While the crowds could have been larger, there was a large number of people in attendance and they certainly got their money’s worth! Both the men and women’s races were very entertaining and it was impressive to see such a closed-in pack of cyclists going at that speed in unison.
Kudos to the organizers and I very much look forward to sitting in the bleachers and scrambling to get a view at the track side next year! I trust you’ll enjoy the pictures and videos I took this evening. Please feel free to share if you do.