1,000 cyclists took part in Atlantic Canada’s largest Gran Fondo
Riders came from all over Nova Scotia, Canada and the United States with International Cyclists from as far away as Europe and Australia
CLARE, Nova Scotia. - The sounds of cowbells, clapping, and pots and pans banging could be heard throughout the Municipality of Clare as visitors from near and far lined the streets to cheer on the nearly 1000 cyclists as they rolled through the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie course on Sunday September 23rd.
The fourth annual Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie had a choice of routes of 161 km, 120 km, 67 km or a 35km for all abilities.
Over 1,000 cyclists were registered and around 970 cyclists lined up at the start, supported by 200 volunteers and a growing lots of sponsors making the event happen.
Most of the cyclists were from Nova Scotia, over 200 came from other provinces in Canada.
Over 35 cyclists came from the United States with several International riders from countries including Australia, Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom.
This participation rate was up on last year's ride as the event continues to grow with increasing popularity.
One rider commenting “Clare is a beautiful place and it feel's like home here. It’s a perfect day for a bike ride and I’ll be back again next year!"
Cyclists enjoyed many Clare’s landmarks, including Universite Sainte-Anne, the only French university in Nova Scotia. Eglise Sainte-Marie Church, the largest wooden church in North America. Belliveau Cove Park, Eglise Saint-Bernard Church, Bangor Sawmill, Mavillette Beach, Elise Sainte-Alphonse Church, Smugglers Cove Provincial Park and Eglise Sacre-Coeur Church
Greg Danchuk made the trip to Clare from Banff, Alberta, “I think this is a great event, you can tell the whole community is involved with it,” he said. “Everyone is outside, standing in front of their houses, cheering you on. They’re just waiting for you to cycle by. You don’t see this at most other races!”
Tom and Darcy Wefers from Toronto, heard about the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie, “We often said we’d love to bike next to the ocean, there was a picture of the ocean and I think on the other side was a picture of a lobster and we were sold instantly!”
The couple took part in the 161km ride but have competed in several longer rides in Ontario, “This is just a practice ride for us, we’re not here to race. We’re here for the view,” he added.
The Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie included Children’s Fondo the day before the big rides and 95 kids aged 5-12 entered.
Photo: The inaugural Mini-Fondo attracted 95 children from 5 to 12 years old! photo by Marc d'Entremont Photography
Organizers also had a fiddler, Leon Stuart, playing classic Acadian songs near the Bangor Sawmill to entertain cyclists as they rode by.
View a full list of the results from the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie here
You can visit the Gran Fondo Facebook page by clicking here
When the dust settled event had served over 1,350 meals on the Sunday, which included 950 lobsters and 3000 cookies!
5th Edition set for September 21- 22, 2019
The fifth edition of Atlantic Canada’s largest Gran Fondo, will take place on the weekend of September 21-22, 2019.
Registration will open in December 2018.
For more information, please visit: https://www.granfondobaiesaintemarie.ca or click the button below.