Over 800 cyclists celebrate as the Bluewater International Granfondo returns
Ontario's Premier bike ride returned to the sunny shores of Lake Huron as over 800 cyclists celebrated around the picturesque roads of Lambton County
Last Sunday was a perfect for the 6th Annual Bluewater International Grandfondo. 820 cyclists from across the world converged on Mike Weir Park early in the morning along Old Lakeshore Road in Bright's Grove, Sarnia. The entire day saw smiles, camaraderie, team work and celebration from all participants. Milestones were reached, personal bests achieved!
"Last Sunday was a grand day for a gran fondo, we could not have picked a better day,” said Ken MacAlpine, co-founder of the event, “The riders were so happy to be back!”
Corbin Lippert and Wilma Koopman, nurse practitioners at the London Health Sciences Centre, were riding together in a 100-km event, “It’s wonderful. Lots of fun people – the best place ever.” said Koopman, a triathlete who uses the gran fondo as a training ride.
It was Lippert's first time participating in a large group event, “It’s my first time every having a number on a jersey,” Lippert said, “It’s a lot,” he added about the 100-km ride he expected would take four hours to complete.
The route covers beautiful countryside and it’s mostly flat with a couple of little hills in there.
The gran fondo organization sponsors Bluewater Palliative Care Retreat for health-care providers and volunteers organized by Dr. Glen Maddison.
Since 2016, organizers have raised over $300,000 to support palliative care education in the community.
“They’re just blown away when they see the starting line on Old Lakeshore Road overlooking Lake Huron", he said, “It’s a location second to none.”
Photo: Co-founders, Ken MacAlpine and Kathy Johnson (second and third from the right) along with Phil White Cervelo co-founder at the start of the 6th annual event!
When they held the first Granfondo in 2016, MacAlpine thought they might be able to attract 100 cyclists, never thinking it would grow into what it is today.
The Gran Fondo wasn’t held duriing the pandemic in 2021 and switched to a virtual format that still attracted more than 500 participants. Last Sunday marked its safe return to the roads around Lake Huron.
MacAlpine said, "We say thank you to all of you who joined us on the shores of Lake Huron! To the dozens of dedicated volunteers who put in hundreds of hours getting ready for B.I.G., this event was not possible without every single one of you! A round of applause for all of our incredible sponsors! Congrats to the award winners!"
"May we see all of you next year, ready to do this again!"
In the Bluewater 150k ride, Chloe Desroche was fastest over the 4 timed sections ahead of Erika Hendrick and Stephanie Au in a combined time of 45m 29s.
In the Lambton 100k ride, Helen Rattee was fastest over the 3 timed sections ahead of Melissa Wong and Kim Drake in a combined time of 33m 5s.
Sarnia 50k ride, Lori Caruso-MacKinnon was fastest over 1 timed section ahead of Alison Hansen and Charlotte Hansen in a combined time of 15m 21s.
In the Bluewater 150k ride, Brad Bradford was fastest over the 4 timed sections ahead of Peter Cobb and Marko Vuruna in a combined time of 44m 23s.
In the Lambton 100k ride, Kim Kassio was fastest over the 3 timed sections ahead of Chris Durand and John Cahill in a combined time of 30m 18s.
In the Sarnia 50k ride, Michael Merrick was fastest over 1 timed section ahead of David Thompson and Jerry Mangiarelli in a combined time of 13m 36s.
Women's First Responder Championship Podium
Kim Cheston was fastest over the 3 timed sections ahead of Allison Knapp and Karen Kinart in a combined time of 30m 48s.
Men's First Responder Championship Podium
Todd Hoover was fastest over the 3 timed sections ahead of Scott Moore and Jerry Ding in a combined time of 30m 21s.
1st B.I.G. Slow Roll a Big Success!
The night before the Granfondo the streets of Sarnia were a 'Sea of Orange'. The B.I.G. Slow Roll was a smashing success, over 500 cyclists participated and thoroughly enjoyed the route through Sarnia.
MacAlpine said, "Thank you to everyone who joined in the fun to support BIG Brothers Big Sisters Sarnia and palliative care initiatives in Sarnia Lambton Lots more photos to come from this brand new community event! "
"Thank you to our presenting sponsors Kel-Gor Limited and the nuSarnia Foundation! Thank you to Blackwell Cycle for being on site with us, the City of Sarnia for all your assistance getting this ride ready! To Big Family Brewing Co. and Bad Dog Sarnia for the gift certificates"
"Thanks to our MC Matt from Real Deal Events!"
Cheers to our much appreciated volunteers who marshalled the ride and made sure everyone had a cool tshirt to wear!
"Year 1 of the B.I.G. Slow Roll is in the books, time to start planning year 2!"
Link to the full 2022 Bluewater International Granfondo Results: https://zone4.ca/event/2022/VOORbV
For more information, please visit: http://www.bigf.ca
Photo: 1st B.I.G. Slow Roll a Big Success!