Barry’s Roubaix returns to Pitt Meadows

The second annual Barry’s Roubaix Cycling Race returns to the dikes of Pitt Meadows this Sunday, April 10. Hundreds of cyclists are expected to participate in the B.C. Cup event, as they tackle the challenging 10 km course located near the Pitt Meadows Airport.

The race is modeled after the grueling Paris-Roubaix, which has been run every spring since 1896. Often referred to as “The Hell of the North,” the race takes cyclists on a torturous 250 km-plus route from Paris to the town of Roubaix near the Belgian border, along treacherous cobblestone roadways in consistently inclement weather. Barry’s Roubaix will take place on the same day as the famous French race, substituting the Pitt Meadows Dike for the cobblestone roads, while inclement weather is all but guaranteed.

The event is free for spectators to enjoy, and is easily accessible for walkers and cyclists, says organizer Barry Lyster.

“The easiest way for spectators to get a front-row view of the race action is if they make their way to the start/finish area at Pitt Meadows Airport under their own power,” he said. “They won’t have to worry about parking, plus they will have access to the best viewing spots on the course.”

Lyster is keen to keep the event as car-free as possible and give Ridge-Meadows cycling fans a chance to experience the amazing biking and recreation opportunities in their own backyards.

Racing starts at 8:30 a.m. and will end around 2 p.m. The feature events included the Category 1/2 women and men’s races, which feature some of the province’s top teams, like the Maple Ridge-based Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+ Elite Women’s squad. The Category 1/2 men start their 120 km assault at 11 a.m., while the Category 1/2 women take off on their 100 km at 11:05 a.m.

The U-17 race gets underway at 10:30 a.m.

• For more information on the race, or to register, visit <a href=”http://www.localride.ca/wp/2011/02/05/barrys-roubaix-2011/”>Local Ride’s website.</a>