Racers tackle the hairpin corner in the 2005 Tour de Gastown.

Cyclists will race through the streets of Gastown in July with the return of the popular local cycling race, Gastown Grand Prix.

The historic race, which began in the 1970s, was cancelled in 2009 due to sponsorship shortfall.

This year, professional cyclists from around the world will take the Vancouver stage again with the help of the Gastown Business Improvement Association and a new title sponsor that has agreed to support the race in a multi-year agreement. 

“All of these events bring tremendous value to the communities that they’re in,” said Mark Ernsting, race director. “The athletes provide a top-notch North American event, and locals benefit from those riders coming from abroad.”

Formerly known as the Tour de Gastown, the one-day event, featuring 150 to 200 participants, has drawn crowds as large as 40,000 people.

The race is part of B.C. Superweek beginning with the Tour de Delta from July 6-8, the UBC Grand Prix on July 10, the Gastown GP on the 11th, Giro di Burnaby on July 12 and ending with the Tour de White Rock from July 13-15.

In the past, the race has drawn professional cyclists such as Lance Armstrong and Tyler Farrar.

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