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Champs return to defend Gastown title

Last year's Tour de Gastown winners, Hilton Clarke (Navigators Insurance) and Gina Grain (Expresscopy.com), will return to defend their titles the event's organiser has confirmed. The pair will lead an expected 190 competitors that will vie for over $15,000 USD in prizes at the July 18 race.

"Apart from Hilton and Gina, the line up so far includes North Vancouver resident, Kirk O'Bee, and Victoria's Ryder Hesdjadal, both of the Healthnet Pro Cycling Team, former Tour de Gastown multiple winner, Gord Fraser, who is coming out of retirement to compete again this year, the Jazz Apples Cycling Team, a development team from New Zealand, and the Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling Team out of the US," said event director Jonathan Wornell.

The Canadian criterium is expecting crowds of some 40,000 people to line the 1.2 kilometre route for this year's race.

"The streets of Gastown provide one of the roughest challenges that riders face anywhere in North America, and that makes the Tour de Gastown such an incredible event for spectators," said Vancouver City Councilor Raymond Louie.

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