Inaugural RBC GranFondo Banff to take place August 25, 2012

New Cycling Event Announced for Banff National Park, Alberta

Banff, AB: GranFondo Canada, producers of epic participation cycling events, has announced the introduction of RBC GranFondo Banff which will take place later this year on Saturday, August 25th. Starting and finishing in the beautiful mountain town of Banff, the 142 km route will take cyclists into the heart of the Rockies to experience the awe-inspiring nature of Banff National Park and discover its tradition of mountain adventure.

Gran fondo cycling events have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and are gaining momentum in North America. Loosely translated from Italian, gran fondo means "big ride". These rides are often a hundred kilometres or more and designed for cyclists at a variety of skill levels - everyone from competitive cyclists to recreational athletes enjoy these events. The most prestigious rides feature challenging terrain and scenic courses in epic locations.

This gran fondo event is very unique in that it is taking place in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Organizers will be placing special emphasis on this unique experience by creating learning opportunities for participants and their families to enjoy during their visit. As a true destination event in one of Canada’s most cherished locations, cyclists will come to connect intimately with the park.

“We are extremely excited to introduce the gran fondo to Banff National Park.” said Kevin Thomson, co-founder of GranFondo Canada. “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time and we look forward to an incredibly successful event. We are also very proud to announce that the Royal Bank of Canada is extending its sponsorship of the GranFondo Canada event series to now include the RBC GranFondo Banff. RBC has been a very strong partner over the past three years with all of GranFondo Canada's events, and is committed to delivering a memorable experience for our riders in Banff.”

Many participants will come from Alberta but most are expected to come from across Canada and around the world.

“The RBC GranFondo Banff event is a terrific fit for the Town of Banff,” said Mayor Karen Sorensen. “It promotes a healthy and earth friendly activity and is a wonderful way to enjoy the splendour of the Canadian Rockies. We will be pleased to welcome all the participants and their families to Banff.”

It is expected that participants will travel with their families and extend their stay beyond the single-day event to take in local attractions and activities.

“The RBC GranFondo Banff provides an excellent and low-impact opportunity for Banff National Park to showcase its world-class and beautifully scenic road-cycling routes,” said Stu Back of Banff Lake Louise Tourism. “This event provides an ideal way for cyclists of all abilities to participate in one of our destination’s most beloved and popular activities.”
 
Capacity for the inaugural RBC GranFondo Banff has been limited to 1,500 participants and demand for the event is expected to be very high. For those interested in participating, registration will begin at 9:00am on March 15, 2012. For more information, visit www.rbcgranfondobanff.com

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About Banff National Park
Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For over 125 years, Banff National Park has provided visitors with a healthy combination of unspoiled wilderness, modern amenities and opportunities for active exploration.  It is an area of unparalleled beauty, protected and cherished by Canadians and visitors from around the world. For more information about Banff National Park, please visit: www.banfflakelouise.com and for images please visit www.photos.banfflakelouise.com 

About GranFondo Canada
Founded in 2007, GranFondo Canada is an event management company committed to providing world-class cycling experiences in world renowned locations. Rooted in the growing domain of sport tourism, these events appeal greatly to cyclists looking for unique and memorable experiences. 2012 events include the second annual RBC GranFondo Kelowna on July 14th, the inaugural RBC GranFondo Banff on August 25th and the third annual RBC GranFondo Whistler on September 8th. For more information and a listing of 2012 events, please visit: www.granfondocanada.com.