Fan enthusiasm, fan pride, fan support—there is momentum and power to be tapped, especially when it comes to cycling, a sport so accessible to young and old, professional and amateur. What better way to celebrate the cycling fan than to ride a GranFondo?
...Riders, that is. In only its second year, the RBC GranFondo Whistler has become one of the largest in North America – selling out to 7000 riders back in April. With the big event just one week away, and my own training just about done, a look back at last year’s ride is in order…
Last year’s inaugural RBC GranFondo Whistler was a huge success as almost 4,000 riders filled the Sea To Sky Highway between Vancouver & Whistler, but 2011 looks to be even better. The organizers have added another ride in Kelowna, and Doug Smith of TOIT Events, Inc. takes us through the spectacular route in BC’s wine country.
Just a few short weeks from now, one of the largest organized group cycling events on the West Coast will take place between Vancouver and Whistler. The RBC GranFondo Whistler is the first ‘gran fondo’ to hit these parts, and was sold out months ago. I talked to the men behind the ride on one of the most scenic stretches of highway anywhere.
There’s a reason granfondos are getting so popular here in North America… they’re damn fun. Hundreds, or in this case, thousands of riders, scenicly spectacular courses – closed to cars, massive support, and a huge party with enough beer at the end to ensure celebration on an epic scale. This second annual ride from Vancouver to Whistler was by all accounts a huge success.
The event was announced in February – and sold out in a few short weeks. My own training started in earnest just after le Tour, and all the cards were layed on the tarmac on Saturday Sept. 11, as I joined 4000 other riders in Vancouver for the inaugural RBC GranFondo Whistler. Here's how the day rolled...
Part Two: 8.30 am. 6,000 cyclists descend on the start line of the Gran Fondo Colnago at the Expo Centre in Piacenza. The start is one hour away and everyone wants a good position. The riders are separated into 5 different grids dependant on their level. The grids fill up with cyclists like grains of sand in an hour glass.
Today was held in Pinto the third edition of the Granfondo Alberto Contador, with more than seven hundred riders in the starting line, which is the participation record for in this race, which also had a 3 hours Spinning Marathon, held in parallel to the road race.