Many thanks to the Hamilton Community News for this article about the 2013 Good Friday Road Race — it was a great day and we can’t wait until next year!
Cyclists testing pedal power likely to return to Ancaster for 2014
By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
The odds are definitely in favour of the Hamilton Cycling Club’s Good Friday road race returning to the Ancaster fairgrounds for 2014.
Race director Marc Risdale said although a wrap-up meeting has yet to be held, the chances of returning to Ancaster next year are “very good.”
“We have laid down an excellent framework that will allow us to host a top-quality event for years to come,” said Risdale. “We are really pleased to be able to showcase our community to people from all across Ontario.”
After being held in the area of Safari and Brock roads in Flamborough for the past couple of years, the 61-year-old race moved this year to roads surrounding the fairgrounds. Nine separate races were held in 15 different age, gender and ability categories. Routes ranged from 37 to 111 kilometres, and close to 500 racers challenged their pedalling power.
Risdale said the fairgrounds turned out to be an “ideal venue” for such a large number of cyclists, spectators and well-wishers.
He said organizers were able to segregate parking and race headquarters from the course, which was a “huge benefit.”
The fairgrounds’ service roads also became part of the route and allowed a unique “arena” feature that enhanced spectators’ experiences.
Risdale said he heard many positive comments about the new location, but one on a local cycling forum stands out in particular.
It stated: “Good Friday is a special day for most competitive road cyclists in the area and has been a tradition for most cyclists I know. The new course was absolutely perfect, slightly rolling combined with the spring wind created some challenging conditions which were perfect for attacks and teamwork. Loved the run in through the Ancaster fairgrounds, the gravel and the overall feel of being part of a well-organized event that was spectator-friendly and accommodating.”
Along with the fairgrounds venue, Risdale attributed the success of the race to Councillor Lloyd Ferguson for his early support, the city’s SEAT committee for making the move as easy as possible, Hamilton Police Services for their help on race day, very accommodating fairgrounds staff and residents living in and around the fairgrounds for their patience and understanding.