Cycling festival kicks off with Dallas Road time trials, Metchosin road race and Grand Prix

Victoria International Cycling Festival (June 1 to 24) starts tonight (June 1) with time trial races on Dallas Road

The men’s (pictured from 2011 above) and women’s elite race of the Bastion Square Grand Prix goes Sunday morning

The second annual Victoria International Cycling Festival, which runs June 1 to 24, starts tonight (June 1) with time trial races along Dallas Road.

The Russ Hays Time Trial is the first of three events make up this weekend’s Robert Cameron Law series. The competitions have featured world-class cyclists Ryder Hesjedal, Roland Green, Andreas Hestler, Melanie McQuaid, Alison Sydor, Craig Richey, Rumon Carter, Erinne Willock and Annie Ewart.

Cyclists begin and end the five-kilometre course time trial at Clover Point. Racers start out due east, going slightly downhill along the Ross Bay Cemetery, then u-turn at St. Charles St., and blast to the Douglas Street fork at Beacon Hill, where they turn around once more and speed back to Clover Point for the finish.

Time trial races start at 6 p.m., with the men’s elite beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday is marked by the Accent Inns Road Classic in Metchosin, which doubles this year as the B.C. road cycling championship. Riders will complete multiple laps of the 10-km circuit which starts at Rocky Point Road, and features a climb up Liberty Road.

The road races start with the junior men (eight laps) at 7:30 a.m. The elite men’s race (12 laps) should start around 1:30 p.m.

Also on Saturday is a night of beers, bikes and song, hosted by Philips Brewery.

Indy rock band Wintersleep is headlining the official VICF kickoff party on Government Street with We Are The City and other guests.

Doors open at 6 p.m., tickets are $25 (available at Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records and www.ticketweb.ca). Must be 19 or over.

Sunday morning is the 20th annual (Condo Group) Bastion Square Grand Prix.

The fully enclosed 900-metre loop starts on Fort Street just west of Government, and ends there too.

Thousands will line the streets to watch. One spot to check out is “Crash Corner,” at Yates and Wharf streets, where cyclists (should) slow down to handle the challenging left turn on Wharf after gaining speed down Yates.