In a city already centered on cycling, Saturday’s Tour de Victoria is an event most two-wheeler enthusiasts mark on their calendars.
Ryder Hesjedal’s 11th annual Tour de Victoria will bring more than 2,200 cyclists of all abilities to city streets and rural roads as the event returns to its normal August date for the first time in two years.
“We are delighted to be hosting the event again,” said tour manager Seamus McGrath.
“We like to show off our beautiful city in the summer,” he added. “This year, over 63% of passengers are from outside of Victoria, with many traveling from all over the world, including the United States, Australia, Mexico and more.”
In 2020, the pandemic canceled the first cycling race in the capital region. In 2021, he made a comeback, but not until October.
This year the race will return to its original format with distances ranging from agonizing 160 kilometers to lengths of 45, 30 and 15 kilometers for riders of all fitness and skill levels.
“I am so proud to be from Victoria and to be part of the Tour de Victoria family,” said professional cyclist Ryder Hesjedal.
“This event brings an incredible experience to our cycling community in Victoria, and I am impressed with the event every year.”
As riders prepare to bask in cycling glory this Saturday, with welcome sunny forecasts and outdoor cafes at the finish lines, the race will also cause significant traffic disruption.
From East Sooke to downtown Victoria and Central Saanich, many roads will be partially or completely closed to vehicular traffic.
The route includes car-free sections for cyclists, controlled intersections, and food and medical services.
The event begins at 7 a.m. next to the BC Legislature on Belleville Street, with the 160 kilometer and 140 kilometer runners, followed throughout the day with the other distances, with the final runners being out of the course at 3:30 p.m.