Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race didn’t happen in 2020 or 2021. It did, however, on September 10th in 2022. (Next year the event takes place on September 9th.)
The GranFondo Whistler is a cycling event with routes that span various distances. It goes along the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler. “Gran Fondo” in Italian literally means “big ride” which is appropriate considering the distance cyclers need to travel between the two locations!
Cyclists have three route options to choose from that span different distances. There are the Medio, Gran and Forte races.
Medio Cycling Race Route
The 55 kilometre “Medio” route starts and finishes in Whistler. Participants cycle to Whistler Olympic Park before making their way back to the main town. “Medio” is great for families and people looking for something easier and don’t want to cycle all the way from Vancouver.
Gran Fondo Cycling Race Route
The most popular route, the “Gran Fondo,” starts in Stanley Park and ends in Whistler. It spans 122 kilometres and cyclists gain a total of 1900 metres in elevation. Participants are on the Sea to Sky Highway for much of the journey and can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.
With this race cyclists don’t have to worry about traffic since the roads up are closed to cars for a good part of the day (which is great for them but not so convenient for people wanting to get to places along the Sea to Sky region by vehicle). If you plan to drive somewhere on the day of the race, plan accordingly!
Forte Cycling Race Route
Lastly, the most challenging “Forte” route goes for an impressive 152 kilometres. Much of the “Forte” is the same as the “Gran Fondo,” with the exception that participants go up to the Cypress Mountain ski area before coming back down and joining their fellow “Gran Fondo” cyclists on the main route. As a reward for their efforts, “Forte” riders receive an extra-large medal once they finish (along with extra sore legs!).
Celebration Plaza and Training
To honour each rider’s achievement, a big celebration takes place at Whistler Olympic Plaza from 10 am to 5 pm on the day of the event (so on September 10th in 2022). Lots of food and drinks are available and a beer garden is there too. Different performers are also on site to keep folks entertained.
People interested in participating but lacking cycling experience have the option of signing up for training too. 10-week programs for beginner to advanced level riders begin in June.
Visit the GranFondo Whistler website for more information about the cycling event.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Events in September
- Free Vancouver Events in September
- Vancouver Cycling Races
- Outdoor Recreation in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver Marathons and Running Races