Mark Your Calendar – PoCo Grand Prix is Back on July 12
Mark your calendar for Friday, July 12, when downtown Port Coquitlam will once again play host to world-class cyclists racing at up to 63 kilometres per hour and a free, family-friendly street festival.
In the past three years, the PoCo Grand Prix sponsored by Dominion Lending Centres has grown to become Port Coquitlam’s largest city-hosted event, attracting close to 10,000 people in 2018 over the day.
The event is part of BC Superweek, which takes place July 5 to 14 in six Metro Vancouver cities and is Canada’s largest professional road cycling series.
“I encourage our residents to be in downtown Port Coquitlam on July 12 to be part of the great energy the PoCo Grand Prix brings to our community,” Mayor Brad West said. “After hearing from our residents and businesses, we have made some changes that will make this already successful event even more exciting to be a part of.”
Changes planned this year include a later start time – with the races starting at 4 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. The course direction will also be reversed to clockwise so that all right-hand turns will result in an exciting longer sprint to the finish line. The Kids’ Race is also being extended to one hour due to the growing popularity of the race. The exciting night-time races under the lights are also back again this year.
“Last year’s night races in Port Coquitlam were a first in BC Superweek and proved to be a thrilling experience for both the spectators and athletes,” said Race Director, Mark Ernsting. “This year we will continue this, but switch the course direction that will allow the viewers to see an even more electrifying finish during all the races.”
The event also includes live music and entertainment in Leigh Square, sponsored by The Giggle Dam Dinner Theatre. The line-up of performers will be posted on the website closer to the event.
With a later start time, downtown road closures will not be in full effect until 3:30 p.m., based on feedback from local businesses and race organizers. The Corporate Challenge race has been cancelled to provide for a tighter schedule.
Opportunities to get involved
Each year’s PoCo Grand Prix offers a variety of opportunities for involvement, from volunteering and sponsorship to participating in the Kids’ or Youth Race and being a spectator.
For those who want the thrill of cycling on a pro cycling track, registration will open at
www.pocograndprix.ca for the following:
- Kids’ Race (fun, ages 3-12) – registration starts June 1.
- Youth Race (competitive, ages 13-16) – register at bcsuperweek.com.
“Extending the Kids’ Race will give more kids a chance to participate in the event this year,” said Cllr. Glenn Pollock, the Council designate for healthy communities. “It’s a great way to introduce kids to cycling as a sport for free.”
Call for Volunteers and Sponsors
At least 200 volunteers will be needed for all aspects of the event, including advance preparations, set-up, assistance throughout the day and takedown. Information is posted at www.pocograndprix.ca/volunteer.
Businesses of any size can also get involved, with sponsorship opportunities ranging from display space in the PoCo Grand Prix to exclusive naming rights. Rewards include marketing before, during and after the event, and access to the exclusive VIP experience (sponsored by Phoenix Truck and Crane) featuring prime viewing, complimentary food and beverages and more. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or to 604-927-5218, and sponsorship information is posted at www.pocograndprix.ca/sponsors.
Last year’s event attracted over 200 pro and elite male and female cyclists from across the globe who were eager to take on the challenging criterium-style track winding through the downtown. Also using the track were 45 participants in BC Superweek’s Youth Race and 330 participants in the free Kids’ Race.
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Photos of the 2018 PoCo Grand Prix may be downloaded at www.pocograndprix.ca/photos.