Burnaby has cancelled pro cycling race Giro di Burnaby this year, and the race’s future is uncertain – but the city is planning for a fun alternative.
Council approved the decision at a meeting on Feb. 27.
The Giro di Burnaby, first held in 2006, is a short circuit race, with professional riders from all over the world competing a loop down Hastings Street, bringing thousands of fans and spectators to Burnaby Heights for a day of world-class racing.
It was part of BC Superweek, which in 2019 included various races throughout the Lower Mainland: Tour de Delta, New West Grand Prix, Gastown Grand Prix, Poco Grand Prix and Tour de White Rock.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the Giro was cancelled – and it hasn’t returned since.
The city cancelled the event again this year, following similar decisions by New West, Port Coquitlam and Delta to pull out of Superweek.
“Without the full compliment of races in BC Superweek, the number and calibre of cyclists will be reduced,” staff said in a report to council on Feb. 27.
Staff also said the cost of hosting the Giro would likely increase this year without the full schedule of BC Superweek events.
Burnaby to host family-friendly Girolino
But the city has a solution – and it’s already seen success.
In August last year, the city hosted the first Girolino event at Confederation Park: bike and run races for children aged five to 12 years old.
More than 220 children participated, and the pedal and dash event brought more than 400 spectators to the park festivities, which included crafts, information booths, a “dinosaur display,” and a barbecue hosted by the Burnaby Fire Department, according to the staff report.
All participating children received a medal presented by Mayor Mike Hurley and Coun. Pietro Calendino, who initiated the Giro di Burnaby event back in 2006.
Calendino expressed disappointment about losing the Giro this year, but said he looks forward to hosting the Girolino. He called last year’s Girolino event “a huge success.”
“I think it will grow (with) time,” he said at council.
The 2023 Girolino could be held at a different location than last year’s Confederation Park spot.
City staff will study the future of Superweek and other high-calibre cycling races in Burnaby and report back at a later date.
Watch a video produced by the City of Burnaby on last year's Girolino event: