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Cyclists gearing up for Tour de Cure across Lower Mainland in fight against cancer

Over 2,000 riders, volunteers prepare for summer fundraising ride across Fraser Valley
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Cyclists from around B.C. are getting set to participate in the province’s largest annual cancer fundraiser.

Over 2,000 riders and volunteers from around the province will participate in an epic two-day event through the Fraser Valley, as the Tour de Cure returns this summer. Cyclists of all skill levels will partake in the ride from Cloverdale to Hope on Aug. 26-27.

Formerly known as the Ride to Conquer Cancer, the Tour de Cure was created in 2009, and since then it has become a premier fundraising event in B.C., raising millions for leading cancer care innovation through the BC Cancer Foundation.

“The Tour de Cure is BC Cancer Foundation’s flagship cycling event,” said Lindsay Carswell, senior director of development. “It is the single largest annual cancer fundraising event in the province, and has been funding breakthrough research.”

Before it was renamed, the tour used to take cyclists down across the border.

“For many years, the event weekend consisted of a route that started in Vancouver and finished the next day in Seattle,” Carswell said. “In 2018, we reformatted it to take place entirely within B.C., and then a lot of change was experienced during the pandemic, and among other things came a name change and a gradual return to the full two-day format.”

The first day will start at Cloverdale Fairgrounds, where cyclists can choose between 100 kilometre or 160 kilometre courses, and will end at Chilliwack Heritage Park. After an overnight camping stay in Chilliwack, riders will then head to the finish line in Hope. Support and safety, meals, camping, baggage and shuttle transportation, as well as bike parking and transport will all be taken care of to ensure that riders have an unforgettable experience.

“You don’t need to be an expert or professional cyclist to participate,” said Carswell, who will also be fundraising and participating himself. “Even though riding over 200km during a weekend might sound intimidating, this event attracts everyday people with a varying degree of cycling experience, and is truly is achievable.”

A training ride took place on June 3 around Marine Drive in Vancouver, providing a unique opportunity to celebrate the local cycling community and their unwavering support for advancing research and care at the BC Cancer Foundation.

The BC Cancer Foundation is the largest philanthropic funder of cancer research and care in the province, and donor support helps the over 80,000 patients who depend on the foundation every year.

“[The Tour de Cure] has been funding breakthrough research that has been carried out in B.C.,” Carswell said. “Funds also support recruitment and talent, state of the art technology, patient support and services, increased access, and more.”

The fundraising goal is “basically as much as possible,” and last year the Tour de Cure raised over $6.3 million, a total that was kept a secret until the day of the event.

PHOTOS: $6.3 million raised as Tour de Cure cycling fundraiser for cancer rolls through B.C. cities

“We keep the ultimate total a surprise, and it’s unveiled on the first day of the event weekend,”Carswell said. “It’s incredible the strength we have in numbers.”