Ask any cyclist and they’ll tell you there’s something special about riding in a smaller community, whether it’s the final stage of the Tour de France which starts in Chateau de Chantilly with a population 11,000, or heading for a weekend ride in a remote area. It’s just one reason why the excitement continues to build for the inaugural PoCo Grand Prix p/b Dominion Lending Centres.
Port Coquitlam is known for its small town charm, quaint historic downtown, and big city connections. It’s the eclectic mix that lends itself so well to the fast racing criterium that will rip through downtown PoCo on July 15. And it’s an event that’s possible due to the strong community support from City Hall and local businesses.
“We are thrilled to be the title sponsor of this premier racing event in Port Coquitlam,” said Gary Mauris, President and CEO of Dominion Lending Centres. “Being actively involved in our community is one of things we hold dear at Dominion Lending Centres and are looking forward to being part of this exciting event in two weeks.”
Dominion Lending Centres, Norco Bicycles, Phoenix Truck & Crane, TELUS, and Cap’s Westwood Cycle along with a number of other local businesses, are all integral in bringing the race to Port Coquitlam.
“We liken the PoCo Grand Prix to the small villages in France that, once they find out the Tour de France is coming through their village, go all out to bring the community to the party. Westwood Cycle strongly supports all cycling initiatives in our community,” said Cap’s Westwood Cycle owner Kelly Hobbis. “What we hear from our customers at all of our locations is true excitement that they don’t have to travel far to see this level of cycling, that they have the opportunity to be involved as a volunteer or racing in a corporate team, and that it is an event for the whole family.”
Part of the small town charm for an event like the PoCo Grand Prix is the fact that almost every facet of the community is helping to spread the word. It serves as an immense source of pride for residents of Port Coquitlam and the surrounding area. Among those disseminating that pride is Phoenix Truck & Crane in neighbouring Coquitlam.
“Our involvement in local activities allows us to meet and discuss with peers, neighbours, residents, and businesses the excitement of July 15th. We encourage everyone to come out and share in the remarkable PoCo Grand Prix entertainment program. We have post card sized hand-outs that we have distributed throughout the Lower Mainland, we’re very excited and proud to be part of this inaugural event,” explained Phoenix Truck & Crane General Manager Lora Covinha.
Since the announcement was made last November about the PoCo Grand Prix joining BC Superweek, it’s been evident the Tri-Cities of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and Port Moody have embraced the event from the get-go.
“We’re proud to have our roots here in Port Coquitlam, it’s a wonderful community filled with parks, trails and families,” added Chris Cook, Marketing Manager for Norco Bicycles. “We’ve been actively involved in competitive road cycling in Canada since the 1970’s, and a supporter of BC Superweek since its inception – we couldn’t be more excited to see a prestigious grand prix event come to Port Coquitlam – many of the very best cyclists in North America will be pushing their limits right here in downtown PoCo.”
Thousands of people are expected to gather in Port Coquitlam on July 15th from noon to 11 p.m. to watch top international cyclists race through the streets, and enjoy:
• Professional and amateur cycling races and awards from 12:20-9 p.m.
• Live entertainment from 1-11 p.m. at the Leigh Square Stage sponsored by Phoenix Truck and Crane
• The Kids’ Zone from 1-5:30 p.m. sponsored by Norco Bicycles
• Kids performers from 1-5 p.m. including Will Stroet, sponsored by Phoenix Truck and Crane
• Beer garden from 3-10 p.m.
• VIP Experience from 3-9 p.m. for sponsors. Sponsored by Mahony and Sons.
The enthusiasm and relaxed, genuine characteristics of Port Coquitlam and its residents are sure to leave an indelible mark on the professional cyclists coming from all corners of the world to ride in the PoCo Grand Prix, the first edition of many to come.
BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional cycling series and features more than $125,000 in prize money available during eight races over ten days. BC Superweek runs from July 8 – 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 Steve Nash Fitness World presents the Tour de White Rock (July 16, 17). For more information, visit www.bcsuperweek.ca.
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Manager of Communications
City of Port Coquitlam