After past incidents with spectators and non-competitors on bikes straying into the competitive roadway, the Tour di Via Italia is now being mandated by their insurance policy issuers to erect special fences along the entire spectator route during this September’s event.
The event, first held in 1958, was described tonight at City Council as a “signature event” for Windsor by Councillor Alan Halberstadt that has been on a “shoestring [budget] for 56 years”.
Organizer Aldo Sfalcin explained how this year’s race may not be able to go forward: the Ontario Cycling Association requires the race to erect substantive fencing along Erie Street from Howard to Parent to prevent the flow of spectators onto the roadway where racers travel in excess of 50km/h.
Councillor Joann Gignac, who supported an idea to donate $5000 to the race, cautioned that “frankly not every taxpayer in the city of Windsor wants to contribute to a bicycle race on Erie Street”.
Council ultimately voted to fund $5000 to the race and suggested the Tour di Via Italia looks at sponsorship or provincial grants in the future.