The fastest week in Canadian cycling begins tomorrow, July 7, as BC Superweek gets underway with the Tour de Delta’s MK Delta Lands Criterium – the first of nine races over ten days.
With $140,000 in prize money on the line and some of the top Canadian cyclists and professional American teams registered to participate, the racing figures to be fast-paced and exciting from start to finish. Below is a list of the top riders coming into BC Superweek, though if history has taught us anything, it is to never count out top local riders. Many of them now on this list are returning pros after catching the eye of team directors at past races.
First Internet Bank Elite Team
Aitcheson made history in 2016, becoming the first Canadian to win the USA CRITS Series Championship, which consists of ten races across America. He also finished third overall in the 2015 U.S. National Criterium Calendar. The 26-year-old Kitchener, Ontario resident won the prestigious Athens Orthopaedic Clinic Twilight Criterium in May of 2016, lapping the field en route to the victory. Aitcheson was also sixth at last year’s Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.
A familiar face at BC Superweek over the years, Fisher had first place finishes in the general classification and points classification at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay just last month. He is a two-time winner of the White Spot | Delta Road Race (2012, 2013). The 27-year-old from Bellingham, Washington sees BC Superweek as almost a hometown series as he has made the trip north for a number of years. Fisher is an active cyclocross rider and finished third in such an event in Surrey, BC back in 2012.
Team Stradelli Safetti
No stranger to BC Superweek, it is a common sight to see Knauer atop the podium during the series. He had six top-10 finishes last year and in 2014 at BC Superweek events, along with five podium appearances in 2013 and 2015. From Germany, but now making his home in Delta, BC, the 28-year-old also won the Steve Nash Fitness World presents the Tour de White Rock omnium (total points) from 2012 – 14 and finished 2nd in the omnium in 2015 and last year, earning him the nickname of “Mr. Tour de White Rock”.
Direct Energie Pro Cycling
A resident of North Vancouver, BC, this is Anderson’s ninth season on the professional cycling circuit and second with the Direct Energie Pro Cycling Team. The 29-year-old had three top-10 appearances in 2016. Since 2009, Anderson has 23 top-five finishes at BC Superweek events, 14 of which are top-two finishes. Although Anderson will only ride the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix this year, it is one of the few wins eluding him at BC Superweek, so there is an added layer of intrigue to his name being on the start list for the race.
New Zealand National Team
2017 is Bulling’s seventh season on the professional cycling circuit. He won the New Zealand individual track pursuit National Championship last year and rode at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championship, winning gold in the team pursuit. The 24-year-old and his New Zealand teammates were fourth in the men’s team pursuit at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He has four career wins, all coming in track cycling events.
Silber Pro Cycling
At just 19 years old, Cote is making a name for himself on the Canadian cycling scene. He had two podium finishes at last month’s Canadian National Championships, winning the National Criterium title and coming third in the National Road Race. 2017 is his first season with Silber Pro Cycling. The sprinter from St-Henri de Lévis, Quebec was first in the Canadian National Junior Time Trial Championships in 2014 and third in 2015. He also was third in the Canadian National Junior Road Race Championship in 2015.
Young is a seven-year pro who won the U.S. National Criterium Championships in both 2011 and 2013. The Boulder, Colorado resident is the defending champion at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and had top-10 finishes at the race in 2013 and 2014. The 28-year-old is a three-time stage winner at the Grand Prix Cycliste Saguenay and a four-time stage winner at the Tour of the Gila, including two wins this past April.
Lay is a former speed skater who retired at 24 due to an injury. She started cycling and turned pro in 2014. The 29-year-old has represented Canada numerous times, winning five medals in team pursuit, including gold at the 2015 Pan-Am Games, silver at the 2016 World Championships and 2015 Pan-Am Championships, and bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2015 World Championships. The Montreal resident also won the Queen of the Mountain title at the 2015 Tour of California and was second at last month’s Canadian road championships.
She came to BC Superweek in 2016 without a team, but Hodges came away with three podium finishes, including a win at the inaugural PoCo Grand Prix presented by Dominion Lending Centres. She was also third at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and Peace Arch News Road Race as part of the Tour de White Rock. The 25-year-old from Victoria, Australia was the 2009 Australian Junior Female Road Cyclist of the Year and has been racing since 2007.
Kirchmann is a marquee rider in the women’s field at BC Superweek. She is the reigning Canadian National Criterium Champion, which she has won five times (2017, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010). Kirchmann was also third at the inaugural edition of La Course by Le Tour de France in 2014. The 27-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba finished second at the White Spot | Delta Road Race in 2015 after winning the race in 2014. She also claimed silver at the 2012 Pan American Championships road race and represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Beveridge is coming off winning the women’s Canadian road championship just a couple of weeks ago. The Calgary native won a bronze medal for Canada in team pursuit at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 24-year-old rode at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships winning bronze in the team pursuit and the scratch race. At the 2015 Pan-Am Games, Beveridge won team pursuit gold and added a bronze medal in the road race.
Cylance Pro Cycling
Numainville took the Tour de Delta by storm in 2016, winning the MK Delta Lands Criterium, the Brenco Criterium and the White Spot | Delta Road Race. The Laval, Quebec native is a threat to be on the podium in any race as a three-time Canadian National Road Race Champion (2015, 2013, 2010). Numainville also represented Canada at the 2012 London Olympics and finished third in the 2016 UCI Road World Championships Team Time Trial.
Bergen finished fourth at last month’s Canadian National Championship Road Race. She has four top-10 finishes this year, including three podiums at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Arkansas earlier this spring. The BC Institute of Technology grad had seven top-10 finishes at BC Superweek in 2016, including a win at the Peace Arch News Road Race and second place finishes at the Brenco Criterium and White Spot | Delta Road Race. The Coquitlam, BC native was also second in the Tour de White Rock omnium.
New Zealand National Team
Botha is a rising star in women’s cycling. She is the world record holder in team pursuit as her New Zealand squad won the 2015 World Championship. She was also fourth in the individual pursuit and third in the team pursuit at the 2014 Junior Worlds Track Cycling Championship. The 19-year-old track specialist has been dominant in her home country too, claiming the New Zealand Junior National Track Championship individual pursuit and omnium in 2014.