The Tour de White Rock is a two-day series of professional cycling races that take place in the resort town of White Rock in mid-July.
The Tour de White Rock
The White Rock cycling event happens on the weekend in mid-June and features cycling races on each of the two days and both an afternoon kids’ parade and evening concert on the Saturday.
The Tour de White Rock is the last of the series of six major BC Super Week cycling races in Metro Vancouver each July with the other five races being the Tour de Delta, Gastown Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby, New West Grand Prix and PoCo Grand Prix.
Tour de White Rock Races
The Tour de White Rock consists of two days of racing – the Choices Markets Criterium on the Saturday and the Peace Arch News Road Race on the Sunday.
Choices Markets Criterium
The Choices Markets Criterium takes place on the Saturday with family-friendly activities running from 2:30 to 7:30 pm, a Kids’ Bike Parade at 3 pm, and a free concert starting at 8 pm.
The Choices Markets Criterium is an exciting race to watch as it features a short 1-km circuit looping around the property of White Rock Elementary, which means you get to see the cyclists racing by multiple times at speeds of up to 70 km an hour in fairly quick succession.
The 2018 race schedule on Saturday, July 14, is the following:
- 3:30 pm – Kids Bike Race
- 4:00 pm – U-15 Criterium
- 4:30 pm – Men’s Category 3 & 4
- 5:30 pm – Women’s Category 1, 2 & 3
- 6:30 pm – Men’s Category 1 & 2
The Choices Markets Criterium race route starts at the corner of Johnston Road and Roper Avenue and then goes through White Rock’s five corners intersection, past City Hall and around White Rock Elementary school. It’s an exciting, fast-paced race.
Peace Arch News Road Race
The Peace Arch News Road Race happens on the Sunday and is considered one of the most prestigious cycling races on the continent. The Men’s Race starts at 9 o’clock in the morning and the Women’s Race begins almost immediately after, at 9:05 am.
Sunday’s races are longer than the races on Saturday, and there are fairly lengthy gaps between laps for spectators. The men’s course is 130 km long, takes about three and a half hours and includes 11 long full laps and 5 shorter ones. The women’s course lasts about two and a half hours, is 80 km in length and consists of 8 long full laps. The start and finish lines for both races are on Marine Drive by the Pier.
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Tour de White Rock spectator experience.
TIP #1: Arrive early to improve your chances of finding parking anywhere even remotely near the waterfront, which is where the race starts and festivities take place. Also, take good walking shoes as regardless of when you arrive you’ll still need to walk a fair ways.
TIP #2: If taking young kids, note that the Choices Markets Criterium on the Saturday is the more exciting and interesting race to watch, especially for folk with short attention spans. Not only is there more to see, but Saturday is also the day of the kids’ parade and other festivities.
TIP #3: Take your swimsuit, camera and sunscreen! The beach at White Rock is one of the region’s most beautiful. Also, if you have children, take your sandcastle-building supplies. The sand at White Rock is amazing and at low tide it goes out for what seems like miles.
For further details about the Choices Markets Criterium and Peace Arch News Road Race see the Tour de White Rock website. For information about other July cycling events in Metro Vancouver, see BC Super Week.
For information about the resort town and things to do in the area, click White Rock.
For other major events in Metro Vancouver in July, as well as at other times of the year, see the Festivals & Events Calendar.