2011 Gran Fondo Cycling Event
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011
Gran Fondo's are mass participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades, and are beginning to gain momentum in North America. The 2010 RBC GranFondo Whistler was the first world-class Gran Fondo in Canada, and will be followed by the 2011 RBC GranFondo Whistler on September 10, 2011.
An Event for All Abilities
The Gran Fondo is the full distance of the ride designed to challenge endurance. Many Gran Fondo events offer a "mini" or "medium" version called the "Medio". This is appropriate for those not quite ready for the full distance but who still want to participate in the challenge. The Medio in the RBC GranFondo Whistler will start in Squamish to cover a distance of 60 km, but will still be a challenge by including the steepest of the climbs up to Whistler. A "Giro" is a common cycling term for race. The Giro division in the RBC GranFondo Whistler will be the race component. Open to licensed riders in Categories 1 through 3, the Giro will be an all out race to the top of Whistler at an anticipated average speed of over 30 km/hour.
The newly upgraded Sea to Sky Highway was designed to accommodate traffic for the 2010 Winter Olympics… but it's been waiting for you. You won't believe your eyes as you travel this spectacular route.
The Start Line
Starting at sea level in Vancouver, riders will head over the Lions Gate Bridge in a dedicated lane on their way up to Whistler. Once over the bridge, riders will travel up Taylor Way to get onto the upper levels Trans Canada Hwy with a right of way at all intersections. The journey then begins.
Riders will travel the rest of the route in a dedicated lane all the way up to Whistler. You'll be distracted from the 2,400 meters in climbing by the spectacular views of Howe Sound as you ride to Squamish - the half way mark and rest stop. You may be surprised to realize you'll also enjoy 1,750 meters of descent as you roll through the Coast Mountain Range for a net gain of 650 meters elevation to arrive at the finish line in the heart of Whistler Village.
Riders will finish in Whistler Village with a celebration worthy of this epic ride including live music, a beer garden, massage tents, a rider expo in the plaza and all your friends and family. Your personal luggage from the start will be available for pick up plus a complimentary bike check as you enjoy the festivities.
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