jeff hodson/metro vancouver file photo


North Vancouver’s Lee Darling flies up the brick-lined streets of Water Street during last year’s Tour de Gastown.


Canada’s two newest cycling champions will go head-to-head tomorrow against nearly 200 of North America’s top riders at Vancouver’s Tour de Gastown bicycle race.

The annual race draws nearly 40,000 spectators and is the centrepiece of B.C. Superweek, the province’s most prestigious week of bike racing.

In the super-fast 1.2-kilometre course women race 36 kilometres in 30 laps while men’s teams race 60 kilometres over 50 laps.

Vancouver’s Cameron Evans won the men’s elite road race at the Canadian Nationals last week in Quebec. He said out of the roughly 100 races he rides in the eight-month season, the Tour de Gastown is the highlight.

“I definitely look forward to doing Superweek, like Gastown and Delta,” he said. “My parents are from Delta so that’s kind of like a hometown race for me.”

Of the Tour de Gastown, Evans said, “In North America (bike racing) is not really that big … but it’s a pretty big event in the city.”

Last year’s women’s champion, Burnaby’s Gina Grain, took the national women’s elite road race title in Quebec last week and will also be competing.