News that the PoCo Grand Prix cycling race will be held Friday July 15 is being touted as a major boost for the new event.
Port Coquitlam was selected last fall as one of the sites for BC Superweek, Canada’s largest professional road cycling series, which takes place each July in five Metro Vancouver cities. The PoCo Grand Prix was originally scheduled to be held on a Tuesday in downtown Port Coquitlam. As a result of joint efforts between the City and BC Superweek to enhance the series, the date has been moved to Friday.
“It’s wonderful news and it’s coming at a great time, because we’re gearing up now to get sponsors, volunteers and the entire community involved in the PoCo Grand Prix,” said Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore. “We expect the Friday date to help attract more spectators to our event, and we’re hoping visitors will stick around for the weekend following this free, fun event to find out what else Port Coquitlam has to offer. We couldn’t be happier.”
With this schedule change, BC Superweek will run July 8 to 17 with the following lineup: Tour de Delta, Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, Appia Presents Giro di Burnaby, PoCo Grand Prix and Beverley by Cressey Presents Tour de White Rock.
BC Superweek has a considerable following, and thousands of people are expected to gather in Port Coquitlam to watch top international cyclists race through the downtown streets. The criterium-style race will feature a mass start on a 1.3-kilometre circuit that cyclists will navigate for 40-65 laps. Approximately 200 male and female professional cyclists will whiz by about every minute, making for an exciting spectator experience.
The day will also include a kids’ race, youth race, Corporate Challenge races, live entertainment, a Kids’ Zone, beer garden, VIP tent and other activities.
“BC Superweek is committed to hosting the best series of professional cycling events in North America,” said Race Director Mark Ernsting. “The goal is to provide a first class experience to the athletes, sponsors and communities that host this series. We feel with this new schedule that it will allow us to provide an enhanced experience as the series continues to evolve and grow.”
Opportunities to get involved
Planning for the event is now in full swing, including soliciting corporate sponsorship and signing up approximately 200 volunteers. The community will also be invited to register for the Youth Race, Kids’ Race and Corporate Challenge in the weeks to come.
Volunteers will be needed both before and on July 15 for tasks related to athlete accommodation, racecourse fencing, signage, marshaling, VIP tent, beer garden, fundraising, first aid, PoCo Grand Prix Expo (trade show), pace vehicles, event set and take down and other areas. Visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/volunteer for information and online registration.
“We’re going to be relying heavily on volunteers to make the PoCo Grand Prix a success,” said Cllr. Darrell Penner, who chairs the city’s Healthy Community Committee. “It’s a great opportunity to do your part to help showcase Port Coquitlam, while also being involved at the ground level in hosting this exciting event.”
Sponsorship is available at all levels to enable businesses of all sizes to participate. Opportunities range from display space in the PoCo Grand Prix Expo to exclusive naming rights – including the chance to be the event’s presenting sponsor for one or more years. Based on the sponsorship level, rewards may include advance promotions, on-site signage and banners, display space, PA announcements, private viewing space, and passes to the VIP tent featuring prime viewing, complimentary food and beverages, viewing screens and more.