Canadian Cyclist


July 6/05 4:09 am - Tour de Gastown Announces Women's Trophy

Posted by Editoress on 07/6/05

City Of Vancouver Donates New Women's Trophy To Commemorate 25th Edition Of Tour De Gastown July 20 Proclaimed "Tour De Gastown Day"

VANCOUVER (July 6, 2005) - After 25 years, women racers at Vancouver's legendary Tour de Gastown finally have a trophy to call their own following the unveiling of a new women's trophy at Storyeum by Vancouver Deputy Mayor Jim Green.

The new trophy, a gift from the City of Vancouver was designed by Gastown designer Ross MacMillan of Industrial Artifacts. It was ridden from City Hall to Gastown by a group of riders that was led by Vancouver City Councillors Raymond Louie (a former racer), Peter Ladner, Ellen Woodsworth, as well as Gastown Women's Champions Verna Buhler (1981,82,83), Sara Neil (1990) and Alison Sydor (1991).

The City of Vancouver Women's Trophy will be presented for the first time at the 2005 Tour de Gastown (July 20) by Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell, who officially proclaimed July 20, Tour de Gastown Day in Vancouver. "Gastown would like to thank Mayor Campbell, as well as council and city staff, for their tremendous support of our race," said Race Chair Scott Hawthorn. "Thanks to them we're able to bring top level bike racing to the heart of the city and show crowds of 30,000 plus just how exciting this sport really is."

Deputy Mayor Jim Green echoed the sentiments of everyone in attendance in remarking how overdue this trophy was.

"We're pleased to finally help recognize the great women riders that have won in Gastown," said Green. "For years, male riders have been coming to Gastown to try and put their name next to Lance Armstrong's on the men's trophy, now women riders have a chance to add their names next to the inspiring women riders that have won here like Verna Buhler, who won three times, the incredible Sara Neil and our three-time world champion Alison Sydor. I look forward to seeing everyone back in Gastown on July 20." The Tour de Gastown (July 20) is part of BC Superweek, which includes the Tour de Delta (July 15-17) and the Tour de White Rock (July 22-24) and features North America's top professional cyclists racing for $50,000 in cash prizes.

Industrial Artifacts And Ross McMillan:

The trophy, entitled "Forward", was designed and built by Gastown's own Industrial Artifacts Inc. (Ross MacMillan and Johann Wieghardt) specifically for the winner of the women's race of the Tour de Gastown. It was made using recycled wooden casting patterns (Red Cedar and Yellow Pine) reclaimed from two Vancouver machine shop/foundries (Progressive Engineering Works Ltd and Reliance Motor and Machine Works Ltd.) The female figure was carved by Wieghardt from a piece of old growth Yellow Cedar also reclaimed from the Progressive Engineering Works building, which was torn down last year. The trophy was designed to represent the determination and resiliency of the human spirit to overcome adversity and move forward to the future.

Industrial Artifacts Inc. prides itself on being a "sustainable" company which designs and manufactures unique furniture and decor using a variety of recycled materials reclaimed from a variety of BC industries. A "First-life" history is included with each design so as to preserve the origin of each of the artifacts used.

Past Gastown Women Champions:
2004 Manon Jutras, Drummondville, Que.
2003 Ina Teutenberg, Germany
2002 Kim Davidge, Burlington, ON
1993 Marianne Berglund, Sweden
1992 Laura Charameda, San Diego, CA
1991 Alison Sydor, North Vancouver, BC
1990 Sara Neil, Vancouver, BC
1988 Aine O'Hagen, BC
1987 Elizabeth Jansen, USA
1986 Becky Brindle, USA
1985 Peggy Maas, Colorado Springs, CO Texas Metros
1984 Doreen Smith, Delta, BC
1983 Verna Buhler, Winnipeg, MB
1982 Verna Buhler, Winnipeg, MB
1981 Verna Buhler, Winnipeg, MB

Tour De Gastown Race History

The 2005 Tour de Gastown is the 25th running of one Canada's greatest one-day bike race. Founded in 1973 by Vancouver dentist Roger Sumner, the first Gastown race took place in front of 5,000 spectators. In the early years, the competitors were mainly local. In 1976, a new Canadian cycling talent named Ron Hayman came on the scene. Ron later went on to win three consecutive Gastown's (1981-83), a record shared on the women's side by Verna Buhler, also from 1981-83.

In 1980, a local junior rider won, illustrating that success in Gastown is often a sign of greater things to come. The rider was Alex Stieda, a Canadian junior track champion and the eventual winner of dozens of other races in Canada, US, and Europe, including a second Gastown victory in 1984. In 1986 Stieda shocked the cycling world becoming the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

The 1980s saw the powerful 7-Eleven and Coors Lite squads place many winners on the podium, including Delta BC's Brian Walton who won in 1988 and went on to win an Olympic silver medal for Canada in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.

Walton is a founding organizer of the Tour de Delta, which is part of BC Superweek, along with the Tour de White Rock. The 1990's saw youth triumph at Gastown with brilliant performances from young American cyclists such as Subaru-Montgomery's Jonas Carney (1990) and Lance Armstrong (1991), who has won a record six Tour de France titles while being coached by 1985 Gastown winner Chris Carmichael.

In 1993, Roberto Gaggioli, a long-time professional cyclist on the North American criterium circuit, won the last running of Gastown, before the race experienced a nine-year hiatus. In 2002, 24,000 people cheered on winners Mark McCormack and Kim Davidge of Saturn as the race made a triumphant return to the streets of Gastown. The following year, Canadian Gord Fraser of Team Health Net beat a star-studded field to win the men's race while Ina Teutenberg coasted to a solo victory in the women's race. Last year, Jonas Carney capped a remarkable career by winning Gastown again in one of his final races. The women's winner was Manon Jutras of Quebec. After 25 years, the list of Gastown winners reads like a who's-who of North American cycling.

The 2005 Tour de Gastown will take place on Wednesday, July 20.


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