Posted by Editoress on 12/18/09
GranFondo Canada today announced the launch of the Whistler GranFondo, North America’s newest Gran Fondo cycling event. Set for September 11, 2010, the Whistler GranFondo will ride from Vancouver through to the resort town of Whistler along British Columbia’s world-famous Sea to Sky highway.
“We’ve been working diligently with stakeholders and communities along the route for two years,” said Kevin Thomson of GranFondo Canada. “Participants can expect a dedicated cycling lane the entire route from Vancouver to Whistler and a premium cycling experience from start to finish.”
Now taking the athletic world by storm, Gran Fondos (loosely translated from Italian as “big ride”) appeal to recreational cyclists and racers of all abilities and ages. Making the lore, pageantry and mythology of cycling accessible to the “everyday” rider, numerous Gran Fondo’s have launched recently in North America.
This newest entrant promises a route rivaling the scenic vistas of the Alps as riders climb 2400 metres (almost 8000 feet). Riders will be fully supported with multiple aid stations and roving mechanical assistance, with a full rest stop at the half-way point in the town of Squamish. Along the way riders may compete for “primes” (or mini timed races) along particularly challenging sections.
The Sea to Sky Highway has undergone major upgrades in the past few years in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Games, including the widening of the highway and new pavement and grading. Riders will enjoy a smooth, unblemished ride over the entire 120 kilometre (74 mile) route.
The event, long-rumored in the Lower Mainland BC cycling community, will open to limited registration on December 18, 2009. Both a full Gran Fondo and Medio (half distance) will be offered on September 11, with the the Medio starting in Squamish and finishing at Whistler. Individuals or teams may enter either event.
Finishing in Whistler Village with live music, a beer garden, massages and a rider expo, the finish line is intended to be a celebration for both rider and spectators.
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