Prospera Credit Union has signed on as title sponsor of the Okanagan-based Granfondo Axel Merckx, one of the largest and fastest growing mass participation cycling events in North America.
The Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan goes July 13, starting in Penticton and taking riders through the South Okanagan. The family-friendly event shows off all that B.C.’s interior region has to offer.
“In three short years, the Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan has become a must-attend event not just for the amazing ride through the beautiful South Okanagan, but also for the talent of the organizing team to put on a world-class mass cycling event that attracts riders both near and far,” said Bruce Howell, president of Prospera.
“To my mind, what makes it special is that the ride offers a big personal challenge for participants and the event is also an exciting, fun-filled destination trip where family and friends are happy to come along.”
Popular in Europe, Granfondo-style events allow cyclists to experience the rigours of a pro-level race with the same support enjoyed by professional cyclists. However, the emphasis is not only on competition, but also on participation.
The three-year commitment by Prospera ensures that cycling and tourism in the Okanagan will continue to grow.
“Prospera has a strong history of supporting community-based organizations and events, and we’re extremely excited and thankful for their support in helping host one of North America’s top mass cycling events,” said Axel Merckx, event founder and former professional cyclist.
In addition to the big ride itself, the Granfondo weekend hosts a suite of family events, including the popular Kids’ Piccolofondo fun ride for children under 12 years of age July 12.
A portion of the proceeds from each registration goes to the Axel Merckx Youth Development Foundation (www.amydf.org), a not-for-profit initiative established in 2011 to help develop and steward the future of Canada’s young cyclists.