Less than a month to go! The thrilling ride of RBC GranFondo Whistler: a cycling extravaganza you don’t want to miss!
Event date: September 9, 2023 | rbcgranfondo.com
Every year, cycling enthusiasts from around the world gather in the picturesque landscapes of Whistler, British Columbia for a spine tingling event that combines nature’s beauty with the exhilaration of cycling with thousands of others. The RBC GranFondo Whistler has become a premier cycling experience, attracting riders of all skill levels to participate in a challenging and scenic journey.
In this article, we will delve into the essence of RBC GranFondo Whistler, exploring its history, significance, route, participant experiences, the impact it has on the local community, and why you need to be riding in 2023!
A brief history
The RBC GranFondo Whistler made its debut in 2010 and has since grown to become one of the most sought-after cycling events on the global calendar. Initially inspired by European style GranFondo events, the Whistler edition aimed to bring this exciting tradition to the stunning landscapes of Canada and British Columbia.
The significance of RBC GranFondo Whistler
The event holds immense significance for both serious cyclists and recreational riders alike. It provides an opportunity for participants to challenge themselves physically and mentally while immersing in the natural beauty of British Columbia. The race fosters camaraderie among cyclists and promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as having a big focus on targeting zero waste.
The scenic route - before the deafening finish!
The heart of RBC GranFondo Whistler lies in its meticulously designed route that showcases the breathtaking beauty of the region. The event typically starts in downtown Vancouver and spans approximately 122 kilometers (152km Forte category is sold out), ending in the no-stranger-to-festivals resort town of Whistler. Riders navigate through a diverse range of terrains, from urban streets to winding mountain roads, offering a thrilling mix of challenges.
The route takes cyclists along the awe-inspiring Sea-to-Sky Highway, which hugs the coastline and offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the towering Coastal Mountain Range. As riders pedal their way through lush forests, serene lakes, and ocean views, they experience an intimate connection with nature that is both invigorating and humbling.
One of the most remarkable aspects of RBC GranFondo Whistler is the diversity of participants it attracts. From seasoned club members to enthusiastic amateurs, the event welcomes riders of all ages and skill levels. Novices often find themselves pushing their boundaries and discovering newfound strength (the 55km Medio is a great starting option), while elite cyclists relish the opportunity to compete against top-notch competition on a challenging course - witness the St. Regis Cup teams challenge where riders complete the course across mens / womens / mixed categories in blistering times.
The event is not just a race; it's an unforgettable experience that fosters a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie among participants. Cyclists share stories, exchange tips, and support each other throughout the journey, creating a strong sense of community that transcends the finish line. Speaking of the finish line, the event prides itself on creating the best finish experience in North American cycling - there’s the huge Olympic plaza dedicated to celebration with food and drink gardens, live music, games, vendors, photobooths, champagne spraying and more.
2023 - “From Sea to Sky”
Drawing on a theme each year, 2023 focuses on the concept of From Sea to Sky - paying homage to the course’s name in this spectacular riding region.
Riders will enjoy a raft of swag included in registration that plays on the From Sea to Sky theme, including both regular entry and the upgraded “Alta Classe” VIP option, presented by KITS.
Impact on the local community
Beyond its impact on participants, the RBC GranFondo Whistler holds significant importance for the local community and the region as a whole. The event attracts thousands of visitors, injecting vitality into the local economy through tourism, accommodation, and dining. Additionally, the event often supports charitable causes, channeling funds towards community development projects, youth cycling initiatives, and environmental preservation efforts.
Preparation, tips and training
Participating in the RBC GranFondo Whistler requires meticulous preparation and dedicated training. Cyclists must focus on building endurance, improving stamina, and enhancing their cycling skills to conquer the demanding course. Many participants follow customized training programs, incorporating cycling sessions, strength training, and flexibility exercises to ensure they are in peak condition on race day.
While the regular season Fondo Clinic training programs are now in full swing, the event has produced a raft of new content this year to help you ride strong this year.
Need a RBC GranFondo Whistler tailored nutrition plan? Look here.
Want tips from local Vancouver club The Last Drop on how to tackle Whistler? Check these reels out.
Prefer to read how to take on the mountain? This blog is for you.
You’re riding to Whistler, so how do you get back? The event offers transportations for you and your bike.
Traveling from further afield? Find all the best deals and options in one place.
The ride is on Saturday Sept 9 but there’s tons of other things going on too. See the schedule in detail (including maps).
Did you know?
RBC GranFondo Whistler also has a 122km classic bikes category! Open to all bikes built up to and including 1987, this year all riders in this category will be given an additional swag item at the Expo; this awesome custom made retro cycling cap!
WIN a De Rosa 838!
All registered riders in RBC GranFondo Whistler 2023 will be placed in a draw to win a magnificent De Rosa 838 road bike!
Check out the details here and make sure you’re entered!
The RBC GranFondo Whistler is not merely a cycling event; it is a celebration of human determination, nature's beauty, and the spirit of adventure. With its captivating route, diverse participant base, and positive impact on the local community, this annual extravaganza has rightfully earned its place among the most prestigious cycling events globally. As riders pedal through the stunning landscapes of British Columbia, they not only challenge their limits but also create lasting memories and forge connections that extend far beyond the finish line.
Online registration closes noon September 6, 2023, so be quick! This is one party you don’t want to miss.