Posted by Editor on 02/12/08
Tour de PEI Returns for a Second Lap Around the Island
Courtesy Tour de PEI
The Tour de PEI organizing committee is gearing up for the return of world-class cycling across Prince Edward Island.
Tour de PEI, presented by Scotiabank, showcases the lush, rolling countryside of Prince Edward Island as a premiere cycling destination loved by elite riders and tourists alike. Last year's inaugural event won the praise of the Canadian Cycling Association, which recently named it the 2007 Road Event Organizer of the Year, over every other major cycling event in Canada. Part of the proceeds of Tour de PEI will be used to support the Prince County and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundations.
International media and the participating cyclists gave last year's event rave reviews. Once again, organizers are receiving requests from Olympic-caliber cyclists around the world who are vying for a spot in the race. About 100 elite cyclists are expected to compete in Tour 2008, in anticipation of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in August.
The second Tour de PEI is scheduled for June 8-12, 2008. There will be five stages:
Stage 1: Summerside, Sunday, June 8 - Summerside will once again be in the international spotlight as Tour 2008 kicks off, with cyclists following the same route as 2007. The city can expect to host plenty of spectators for Tour's only weekend date. In addition, cycling enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that an amateur race will be held on the Summerside circuit prior to the main event.
Stage 2: Confederation Bridge, Monday, June 9 - Cyclists will race one way on a time-trial across the 12.9 kilometre-long Confederation Bridge, starting in New Brunswick, crossing the Northumberland Strait, and concluding in Prince Edward Island.
Stage 3: Kensington to Rustico, Tuesday, June 10 - Organizers listened to the suggestions of last year's cyclists and completely re-designed this stage to be much more challenging, crossing almost every major hill and valley in central Prince Edward Island. The stage will begin in Kensington and continue on Route 20 through Parks Corner, along Route 2 through Freetown, Kinkora, and North York, before concluding in Rustico.
Stage 4: Dalvay to Stratford, Wednesday, June 11 - This scenic route will once again leave the beautiful National Park and showcase more of Kings County and its challenging hills. The event will provide excellent photo opportunities when cyclists cross the Town of Montague's new bridge.
Stage 5: Charlottetown, Thursday, June 12 - Once again, this criterium race will showcase historic downtown Charlottetown and thrill thousands of spectators in this grand finale event.
Tour de PEI 2008 will also include interactive events for children, spectators, and cycling enthusiasts allowing Islanders to mingle with some of the world's top female racers. Event times for many of the stages will be changed to better accommodate morning traffic and school buses. Details will be announced at a later date.
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