One of the largest and most popular Gran Fondo’s in North America, RBC GranFondo returns to Whistler for its 14th year. Rated by Strambecco as one of the best road cycling events in the Northwest, this event is unique because it’s a point-to-point from Vancouver to Whistler and offers beautiful landscapes and a clear, traffic-free passage along the Sea to Sky Highway. There are three primary options, starting with the crown jewel Gran Fondo event, which spans 75 miles and 7500 feet of elevation gain. From Stanley Park, Vancouver, riders cross the iconic Lions Gate bridge to travel along the world-famous, beautiful Sea-to-Sky highway as it dips itself in the Pacific ocean before rising slowly up to the lofty perch of Whistler. Riders have a dedicated lane with zero traffic the whole way – the only day in the year this happens. You and 5,000+ others will be inspired by an army of supporting volunteers and spectators, as well as the super popular on-course live bands and DJs. Once you cross the line in Whistler, you can look forward to the mother of all parties, including drinks from the event producers, food options, awards ceremonies, kids’ activities, and a feel-good concert.
The Forte event spanning 95 miles and 10,200 feet of elevation gain, is a more challenging option. Leaving Stanley Park just before daybreak, Forte riders tackle an additional 876m Category 1 climb up North Shore’s Cypress Bowl Road to the Cypress Mountain ski area before a thrilling sunrise-soaked descent joins them back up with the Gran Fondo riders to Whistler.
The Medio route is a less challenging option for families and groups with differing abilities. Medio riders start in Whistler and cycle southbound down the Sea-to-Sky corridor before venturing up to the spellbinding vistas boasted along the Callaghan Valley. Including 55km and 800m of elevation to enjoy, there’s a well-stocked rest-stop up at the Whistler Olympic Park to collect your friends before the sweeping smooth downhill rejoins you with the main Gran Fondo field for a grand procession back up to the cheering crowds at the finish line in Whistler.
The event is extremely well supported and organized, starting with rest stops and SAG support. This extends to providing travel services for riders who need transport to or from Vancouver/Whistler. Accommodations are plentiful in Whistler as you’ll most assuredly want to make a weekend of this exceptional event. There are also VIP options and special team and classic bike classifications.