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July 3/04 10:04 am - Tour de Gastown: A 30 Year History

Posted by Editoress on 07/3/04

Tour de Gastown - A History

LANCE WHO? Unknown American beats top pros in Gastown.
Tour de Gastown unveils 30 years of race clippings and photos.

In 1991, an unknown 19-year-old American by the name of Lance Armstrong won the tough Gastown criterium in Vancouver while riding for the Subaru Montgomery cycling team. He hadn't even planned to come to the race. His national championships were taking place in Salt Lake City two days later, but his teammate convinced him to make the trip. That teammate was Jonas Carney.

Jonas had won the race the year before, also as a 19-year-old riding for Subaru Montgomery. He told Lance young riders could do well in Gastown, and was he ever right. Gastown has always been a stepping stone to greater things for its champions, which include Alison Sydor, Alex Stieda, Brian Walton, Chris Carmichael and Ron Hayman, to name just a few.

The Tour de Gastown has an amazing history, and now it's available for viewing on the Tour de Gastown Web site at The page features lots of great photos and clippings that span the races history since it started in 1973.

"First and foremost, we want to thank The Province and The Vancouver Sun newspapers, as well as the Westender and other contributors, for permitting us to display these items," said race chair Scott Hawthorn. "We can't thank them enough for the great job their writers and photographers have done covering our race year after year."

Among the clippings and photos are a young Roland Green at the 1993 pre-race press conference, 1982 race program features on 7-Eleven's Eric Heiden, Evian's Alex Stieda showing off his 1991 Allsop and reports on the then upcoming 1985 battle between 7-Eleven's Nitz, Keifel and Phinney vs Alan McCormack's Killian's Red Irish team.

"We have more items coming in each day, including some great shots by Lorne "Ace" Atkinson from 1973-77 and some early posters too," says Hawthorn. "If anyone has items they'd like to display, we'd love to hear from them."

The Tour de Gastown (July 21) is part of BC SUPERWEEK, which includes the Tour de Delta (July 16-18) and the Tour de White Rock (July 23-25), and features North America's top professional cyclists racing for $45,000 in cash prizes.


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