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Olympians at Tour de Gastown

At least five members of Canada's road and track cycling teams for next month's Olympic Games in Beijing are scheduled to compete in the BC Cancer Foundation's Tour de Gastown next Wednesday, July 16. They will be part of nearly 200 riders who will take to the streets for British Columbia's premier bicycle race and the centrepiece of the BC Super Week series of bike races.

"These are probably the best fields we've ever had for the race," said event director Jonathan Wornell. "Last year's men's and women's champions are returning to defend their titles, we have the cream of the men's and women's Olympic road and track teams competing. Moreover, we have a Tour de France finisher."

This year's Tour de Gastown is also part of the 10-race USA Crits Championship Series, "a clear indication that the race has reached a new level in North America" according to Wornell.

The Olympians who are scheduled to be in action are: Erinne Willock, Gina Grain, Alex Wrubleski, Svein Tuft and Zach Bell. Also scheduled to race are: Kirk O'Bee, Christian Meier, Cam Evans, Hilton Clarke, Chris Horner, Yosvany Falcon and Frank Travieso.

So far, nine teams have entered for the Tour de Gastown women event, and 19 teams will compete in the men's race.

The women's teams include: Cheerwine Pro Cycling Team, ValueAct Capital, Vanderkitten Racing, Webcor Builders Cycling Team, Jazz Apple Cycling Team, Total Restoration Cycling Team, Wines of Washington, Giant Bicycles/Team, Whistler.

The men's teams are: Bissell Pro Cycling Team, BMC Pro Cycling Team, Calyon Pro Cycling Team, Escape Velocity, Glotman Simpson, Health Net Pro Cycling Team, Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling, Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling, Kona-Adobe, Rubicon-Orbea, Symmetrics Cycling, Team Aviawest, Team H&R Block, Team Rio Grande Cycling, Team Waste Management, Toshiba - Santo Pro Cycling Team, Total Restoration Cycling Team, Toyota United, Trek - Red Truck Racing Team.

The women's race will cover 30 laps (36km) of the 1.2km course in Gastown, starting at 6.15pm. The 50-lap (60km) men's race will start at 7.30pm. With the start and finish line at the Gastown steam clock on Water Street, the course includes a 165-degree hairpin turn onto Cordova Street, a three-block downhill sprint to a sharp left turn onto Carrall Street, a sweep through Maple Tree Square before a 250-meter dash to the finish line along Water Street's cobble stones.

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