Organizers of next weekend’s inaugural 122-kilometre RBC GranFondo bicycle race from Vancouver to Whistler hope the event will become a perpetual legacy to showcase cycling on the South Coast.
“The world knows us for our mountain biking,” said co-founder Neil McKinnon, “but this is the largest inaugural gran fondo in North America, possibly the world.”
Next Saturday, 4,000 riders will take part in a Sun Run-style mass start at Georgia and Burrard. The number of riders could grow to 10,000 to 12,000 in a few short years as word of the event spreads, McKinnon said.
“We think (those numbers are) very achievable. We’ve gone to great lengths this year to design a course that will have the capacity.”
The race sold out in three months, half a year before its start.
Racers will head over the Lions Gate Bridge and up the Sea to Sky Highway via a dedicated traffic lane.
Organizers expect big delays for motorists and estimate that it will take twice as long to drive to Whistler.