RBC GranFondo Whistler is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, and North America’s #1 Gran Fondo is planning the celebration of the decade.
If you’re already registered, you’ve likely started your training for the big day. However, RBC GranFondo Whistler is more than just a bike ride. To get the most out of your summer weekend on the West Coast, start planning now for a magical pre- and post-race experience in Vancouver and Whistler.
RBC GranFondo Whistler
Travelling from downtown Vancouver to the spectacular peaks of Whistler, RBC GranFondo Whistler is a challenge for riders of all levels — from beginners to even the most experienced cyclists, earning it a place on the UCI Gran Fondo World Series. And for first time Fondo riders, or those looking for a less competitive experience, the ride provides a positive and supportive environment in a spectacular natural setting with plenty of different distance options to choose from.
With its World Series status, riders at RBC GranFondo Whistler have an exciting opportunity to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in 2020, which will be the first time the championships have been held in North America.
While a select few will ride for the opportunity to compete against the best in the world, the majority of riders will be more interested in challenging their own abilities. For these riders, camaraderie and adventure await in their choice of distances to the finish line in Whistler Village; there’s the family-friendly Medio at 55 km, the championship-ready Gran Fondo at 122 km, or for those riders looking to get a little higher, the 152 km Forte tacks on an extra 30 kms up and down Cypress Mountain.
The Course: Ride from Sea to Sky
Soak in the spectacular beauty of Canada’s West Coast, with the assurance and safety of a protected course. Leaving from downtown Vancouver, RBC GranFondo Whistler winds through majestic Stanley Park before heading north along the Sea-to-Sky highway. Along the route, you’ll take in breathtaking ocean views across the Salish Sea, before turning your sights toward the towering peaks of the Coast Mountains and Whistler itself.
Besides the physical challenge, RBC GranFondo Whistler provides a rare unique opportunity to enjoy the views along this world-renowned route without worrying about traffic. Cyclists have a marked and dedicated space on the road from the start in Vancouver all the way to the Whistler finish line.
Not only that, you’ll be totally supported by friendly volunteers at fully-stocked aid stations all along the route. With various hydration options, sports nutrition and even waffles, you’ll find all the energy you need to make it to Whistler.
Not Just a Ride: Starting Your Adventure in Vancouver
While the ride is an unforgettable trip in itself, your RBC GranFondo Whistler experience starts well before your wheels hit the ground on the big day. With partner hotels offering exclusive discounts, and a wide range of activities unique to Canada’s coastal metropolis, you can relax and prepare for your ride in style in Vancouver.
Start with a relaxing walk along Vancouver’s urban beaches or through the oasis-in-the-city of Stanley Park. Or bask in the glory of BC’s Coastal forests with a walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge or a gondola ride up to the spectacular view from the top of Grouse Mountain. Warm up those riding legs at local favourite road-riding loops, or test yourself on the legendary trails of Vancouver’s North Shore.
Back in town, fuel up for your ride with the best of Vancouver’s indulgent and internationally-influenced culinary scene. Sample casual seaside seafood, including some of the best sushi this side of the Pacific, or a seemingly endless selection of gourmet menus focused on cultural fusion and made with local ingredients. Be sure to do a crawl through the booming West Coast craft beer scene or sip on a selection of laid-back Okanagan wines.
A World Class Finish Line
Endorphins flying high, you’ll finish your ride into the heart of Whistler, North America’s premiere mountain resort, to the cheers of waiting family, friends and a massive crowd of eager spectators in Whistler’s Olympic Plaza.
There’ll be a celebratory beverage and meal waiting for you, as well as live music and awards for top riders. A secure bike check will ensure you enjoy the thrilling post-Fondo atmosphere without worrying about your bike’s safety.
You may even want to extend your celebration at one of Whistler’s many award-winning pubs and restaurants featuring locally sourced and organic ingredients.
Recover in Style: Experience the Best of Whistler
Your RBC GranFondo experience doesn’t end when you cross the finish line. With hotel partners offering special rates for Fondo participants, it’s a can’t-miss opportunity to enjoy the best Whistler has to offer. Recover from your ride with a relaxing visit to the outdoor Scandinave Spa, or recharge your senses with a stroll through the award-winning architecture of the Audain Art Museum.
If you’re hungry for even more adventure, the Peak 2 Peak 360 Experience takes you way up to admire Whistler’s unrivalled beauty from a whole new angle as a gondola carries you across the valley from Whistler Mountain’s peak to the top of neighboring Blackcomb Mountain.
Back on terra firma, there’s the Vallea Lumina, an other-worldly night-walk through an illuminated forest, or re-stoke your need for speed with a high-flying zipline tour or ATV rental. If you’re not ready to pack up your bike just yet, head for the world famous Whistler Bike Park, or the more relaxed valley-bottom trails.