BANFF, AB - The RBC GranFondo Banff returns Saturday, August 24 with another sold-out event-- 1,500 cyclists from as far away as Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK will participate.
Gran fondo, which loosely translated means big ride in Italian, is not a race, but a 142 km cycling event through the Town of Banff and Banff National Park. Cyclists will begin and end in Central Park, cycle up Tunnel Mountain Road, past the Hoodoos, then out to Lake Minnewanka Road to Two Jack Lake.
The route, slightly altered from last year's inaugural event, then returns to the town along Banff Avenue to Norquay Road via Elk St. and Railway Ave. before heading west on the Legacy Trail to the Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A).
The parkway will experience rolling closures as the cyclists make their way to Lake Louise and back, returning to Central Park via Norquay/Wolf/Bow Ave. Bow Ave. will be closed from midnight to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 24.
The route is subject to change should weather or wildlife demand it. Last year, the ride was cut short by the presence of grazing grizzly bears on the north end of the parkway; riders were turned around at Castle Junction.
The ride begins at 7 a.m., after the singing of the national anthem, with the first riders expected back in Banff by 10 a.m. Last riders are expected by 2 p.m.
The event also includes a celebrity pre ride for Alta Classe registrants with Alex Steida and Team Smart Stop, and the Family Fundo Kids ride in Central Park at 5:30 p.m., which is open to all children 12 years old and younger. Both are on Friday, August 23.
For more details on the GranFondo Banff, visit banff.granfondocanada.com. For road closure details, visit banff.ca/roadclosure.