The popular Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria is set to ride through the Capital Region on Aug. 17 (Photo contributed)

Family cycling affair Tour de Victoria rolls into ninth year

Riders can sign up for the 160 km Factor race, or distances of 140, 100, 60 30 0r 15 kilometers

Rick Stiebel/News Staff

For Ryder Hesjedal, this year’s Tour de Victoria is truly a family affair.

Although his father, Leonard, has taken part in the last couple of events, his mother, Paige, will ride in the Tour de Victoria on Aug. 17 for the first time this year, Hesjedal noted.

“It’s great to have my parents involved, the more the merrier,” he said. “The whole idea behind the Tour de Victoria is to involve families and the community in an awesome day of cycling.”

This year marks the ninth Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria, which Hesjedal launched as a way to give back to the local cycling community and get more people, especially families, involved in the sport. Participation continues to grow every year, with more than 1,750 participants involved in last year’s event.

“We’re on track at this point to surpass that this year,” said Hesjedal, who credits the move to Saturdays and the fact the event is open to a variety of levels of skill as a reason for the steady growth. “It reflects on the popularity of cycling in general and the success of this event, which is quite encouraging.” Riders can sign up for the five to six-hour challenge of 160 km Factor race, or choose to take part in lesser distances of 140, 100, 60 30 0r 15 kilometres that suit their level of skill.

The popularity is in no small part a result of the legacy Hesjedal has established that extends throughout the Victoria cycling community and far beyond. He earned two world championships as a mountain bike cyclist and was arguably on his way to a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics before a flat tire derailed that effort. After switching gears to road cycling, Hesjedal gained international attention while competing in the Olympics, the Vuelta a Espana and the Strade Bianche in Italy in 2010, where he finished fifth. A devastating crash involving a large group of cyclists in the Tour de France in 2012 short-circuited what was shaping up to be a stellar performance.

READ ALSO: Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

Although Hesjedal, 38, stopped competing in 2016, he is still active in the sport and attends a lot of events as part of the promotional work he does for Factor Bikes, a company based in the United Kingdom, and Castelli, a renowned Italian maker of cycling clothes and accessories.

“I’m living life, not racing but lots of fun rides,” said Hesjedal, who grew up in the Highlands, Colwood and Metchosin, and now lives in Victoria.

“It’s great to see the Tour de Victoria grow and become a fixture. It’s not an easy endeavour to put on a safe, enjoyable event of this size. It takes a small army to pull this off,” he explained. “The event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the many volunteers, partners, sponsors and communities involved. It’s coming up on 10 years next year, which is pretty phenomenal.”

In the meantime, Hesjedal is looking forward to seeing as many people as possible at this year’s event. “The Tour de France is on and hopefully that motivates people to come out and do the best they can,” he added. After all, summer is cycling season.”

For information on entries, sponsors and more, ride over to tourdevictoria.com. For more on the ride distances and routes, check out tourdevicoria.com/routes-maps.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supreme Court determines bext phase of Victoria’s plastic bag ban on Thursday

The Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether or not it will hear the appeal

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Victoria’s reconciliation dialogue on newcomers, Indigenous peoples takes place Monday

The third of six discussions on reconciliation will take place at the Crystal Garden

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read