Sports

New route for Barry’s Roubaix cycling race in Pitt Meadows

The third annual Barry’s Roubaix road cycling race returns to the dikes of Pitt Meadows on Sunday, April 8, and this year features a new route with more off-road sections.

The race is the province’s first big competitive cycling event of the season and promises to be even more exciting this year as race organizer and Local Ride Bike Shop owner Barry Lyster has turned the old course on its ear and started from scratch to offer riders a brand new route.

“The change came late in the organizing process and made things a little more stressful,” said Lyster. “An unexpected high permit cost left us to either cancel the event or try to get another route ready in time for Roubaix Sunday.”

The new course has more gravel than the original one, which should make things even more interesting for spectators and extra challenging for the riders. Lyster added.

About half of the course’s 10km length is on the scenic Pitt Meadows dike system next to the Fraser River.

The course’s other half features some of the area’s the beautiful rural roads. The new loop will start and finish on Kennedy Road near the Pitt Meadows BMX track.

Barry’s Roubaix pays homage to the famous spring classic road cycling race, Paris-Roubaix, which will feature its 109th edition on April 8. The race, which takes riders through northern France, is known for its grueling conditions, such as rough cobblestone roads and gusting winds.

Staying true to its namesake, last year’s Barry’s Roubaix proved to be a wet and wild race with cold, driving rain.

“Last year’s Barry’s Roubaix was an epic day that made April Showers look like a drop in the bucket,” said Lyster. “We’re hoping for something in between this year. We want it to be tough for the racers, but we don’t want our faithful volunteers to freeze out there on the course.”

Registration is still open for the event, and available online at www.karelo.com until 4:00pm on Saturday, April 7.

•For more information about the race, visit www.localride.ca

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