Pro-level cyclists will be riding around Hawkesville June 4, competing in one of four provincial cycling championships, the KW Classic.
Put together by Cycle Waterloo, this is the fourth year the day-long competition will close roads in the village, and see spectators lining the 13-kilometre route.
Malcolm Steven, one of the organizers with Cycle Waterloo, says the race wouldn’t be happening with the support of the surrounding community.
“We just met with the chair of the Hawkesville recreation committee and they use the races as a fundraiser. I understand it is a pretty major fundraiser for them. They have a barbecue for the participants with baked goods,” he said. “They have been really supportive and we very much appreciate the chance to work with them. We know that it is going to take their community off the grid for a bit, as we are going to be shutting down Broadway.”
The racers will take off from the start/finish line, right in front of Hawkesville Community Centre on Broadway Street, but will be separated into categories and have staggered start times, starting bright and early at 8:05 a.m.
The race is a big day for many road racers, having been named a part of the Ontario Cup. The Ontario Cup season used to be broken up between spring and fall, but now, all four races are in the spring, and now includes the KW Classic.
“There are different categories of racers from the various Masters levels all the way up to the Elite level. It is ability based,” said Steven. “Whoever wins their category, will be designated Ontario champion for that category.”
Steven says there is a local rider who has made a splash on the Ontario cycling scene, named Scott Brubacher. He is a Mennonite Hawkesville resident, and has taken to road cycling competition like a fish to water. The local cyclist most recently took first place in the Elite 4 category at the Steve Bauer Classic in Niagara last weekend.
“This is his first year racing. He came in second in the Good Friday road race, and that was basically his first road race,” said Steven. “He is on the Waterloo race team, and we are pretty excited about him. You don’t see someone move up that fast very often. There is usually a progression, but he is a very strong racer. He puts in big miles and has that great work ethic.”
The KW Classic route has changed a bit this year, as well, with a difficult uphill portion through Hawkesville. Steven says that portion will separate the best cyclists from the rest of the group.
“Broadway will be closed right down to Steffler Road. They will be cycling in a clockwise direction on the course, so they make a right hand turn off Ament Line onto Herrgott, then they make that right-hand turn on to Broadway, coming down through the start/finish line, all the way over to Three Bridges Road, and then back to Hawkesville Road. That steep side of Hawkesville is where the really strong riders are going to make a break away,” he said.
The KW Classic starts June 4 with registration at 7:15 a.m., but the big races, the Elite 4 Men and Elite 3 Women, will start their five laps of the course at 3:32 and 3:34 p.m., respectively.
“It is about creating truly competitive races, and we think they will really be a big draw. They’re the best racers of the day,” said Steven.
Details are available online at www.cyclewaterloo.com.