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Paris to Ancaster, an Ontario Spring Classic, continues to grow

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p2aYAAThis year, riders in Ontario’s spring cycling classic, Paris to Ancaster will compete two weeks later than than they usually do. In recent years, the course has been shortened due to snow melt and higher-than-usual water levels. The hope this year, with race day on  April 27, is that riders will have better conditions. Also, with other major races on the calendar in April, including the Tour of Battenkill in Cambridge, N.Y. and Sea Otter in California, P2A organizers hope the later date will attract more elite racers.

Still, the winter season has been harsh and perhaps will extend its grasp well into April. “The race is two weeks later than normal, which given the amount of snow, might make it about the same as usual in real terms,” said race organizer Tim Farrar.

Other changes to the event include a mid-race wash station by Raleigh Bicycles that will give riders the chance to shed the mud that will likely be caked on their bikes. The precise location of the wash station is a closely guarded secret. Clif Bar has signed on as a nutrition sponsor; its products will be present at feed stations, as well as the start and finish of the race.

The VIP Olympic experience presented by Neworld Cycle is back with new sponsors: The John Trim Group/Scotia McLeod and the Red Hill Car Wash. Last year, for the first time, registrants could pay a premium to start in the same wave as former racing legends Curt Harnett and Steve Bauer. Each $200 fee for the VIP experience was donated to the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ont. In 2013, more than $20,000 was raised. This year, more cycling legends have been added: Alison Sydor, Leigh Hobsen, Gord Singleton and Olympic rower Chris Jarvis.

A race that began in 1993 with 226 registrants continues to be a major event on the Ontario cycling calendar with an expected 1,500 registrants in 2014. It is the final instalment of the province’s “Spring Classics,” which includes Steaming Nostril,  Tour of Bronte and Hell of the North.

Full details can be found at Paris-Ancaster.