Penticton will be getting the Granfondo this year.
Organizers of the Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan announced that the 10th edition of the cycling event will occur on Sunday, Sept. 19, in Penticton.
Due to the complexities and challenges borne by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s edition will move from the second weekend of July (originally scheduled for July 11, 2021) to the third weekend in September. Event co-founder Axel Merckx said the decision to move dates was not an easy one, and only occurred after considerable consultation with event partners and relevant authorities.
“We are developing a flexible approach that will allow us to respond to any changes in public health orders and provide the best Fondo experience possible,” said Merckx.
In years past, more than 2,500 riders participated.
General registration for the Sept. 19 event opens this Thursday at 9 a.m. through the event website:www.granfondoaxelmerckx.com.
New entries will be capped at 400, as a significant number of participants who registered for the since-cancelled 2020 edition will roll-over their entry to the September 2021 event. Participants can choose from three distances – Cortofondo (~30 km – 55 km), Mediofondo (~80 km – 95 km) and Granfondo (~130 km – 170 km) – with all three routes starting and finishing in Penticton.
“Despite the date change, we expect a good deal of demand as new road bike purchases have been at an all-time high due to the pandemic, and many of our new and long-time participants have been eager to jump on the saddle again,” says Merckx.
This is the first Penticton festival or event to confirm for 2021.
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