Gastown Grand Prix - PureBlack Racing fought a hard battle at the of the historic Gastown Grand Prix, with the largest criterium prize in North America won by criterium specialist Ken Hanson from Optum Pro Cycling.

tour of gastown

PureBlack Racing showed great form from the get-go of the 60km criterium ensuring their presence was felt up the front early on. The race was held in front of a 30,000-plus crowd who took the opportunity to see high-quality racing in the central city on a balmy Vancouver evening.

“We rode such a good race today,” said Director Sportif, John “Harry” Harris, “everybody was getting in there and they all really worked extremely hard.”

“Joe [Cooper] had an amazing race, he was up there in the front, and we picked up some primes, and collect some prize money.”

Unfortunately it was not to be for the team who has been fighting so hard to gain a podium finish over BC Superweek.

Roman van Uden showed great shape taking a sprint prime, along with Joe Cooper, with Roman the teams’ top finisher with a credible 11th overall.

“It was a really hard course,” said Roman, “The rough cobblestone roads make it hard on your back and the two really big corners in the course made everyone slow down making it hard to gain momentum.”

Despite the combination of tight corners and cobblestones, Gastown Grand Prix had far fewer crashes at the previous criterium at BC Superweek.

“The team really turned it around tonight,” said Harry, who is just relieved that there were no crashes, “I am rapt, you have no idea, it has been a tough few days, I have been stressed to the max literally picking my men up off the road.”

Gastown Grand Prix officials had asked local authorities to increase the speed limit around the course to 65km/hour for the event.

BC Superweek continues with the Giro de Burnaby at 7.15pm on Thursday (Vancouver), or 2.15pm on Friday (New Zealand) time.