Gran Fondo cycling event in Clare ready to roll Sept. 10 after three-year hiatus
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CLARE, NS – Registration is open for the sixth edition of Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie, which will take place on Sunday September 10 after a three-year hiatus.
“The Gran Fondo has quickly become a must-attend cycling and cultural experience,” said a media release from the Clare, Digby County community. “As the largest cycling event in Atlantic Canada, the unparalleled community spirit, breathtaking ocean views and celebratory lobster dinner have captured the hearts of cyclists worldwide.”
In 2019, when the event last took place, 992 cyclists attended. Some cyclists even came from Alaska and Australia.
The Gran Fondo appeals to recreational riders of all skill levels as well as enthusiastic racers. It offers three driving options on roads with little traffic.
Experienced riders will be challenged by the slightly modified 128km Gran route, which has added the scenic Bas-de-la-Rivière coastal loop.
Advanced and inexperienced cyclists may prefer the shorter 67km medio or 35km piccolo rides.
E-bikes are also allowed to ride on the 67 km and 35 km long routes.
Around 150 local volunteers will be recruited to ensure the smooth logistics of the event.
“The community spirit is off the charts,” says the media release. “Hundreds of local residents unfurl the welcome mat and enthusiastically cheer on cyclists from the roadside, waving Acadian flags and banging pots and pans.”
Due to anticipated renovations related to the revitalization of the Clare Veterans Center, the 2023 event will be held at Université Sainte-Anne (1695 Highway 1, Church Point). Lunch is included and includes a choice of vegetarian option, grilled pork or the perennial favourite, fresh lobster in shell.
On Saturday, September 9th, riders will be invited to a social event to get a taste of Acadian culture.
Registration is $129 and includes the event jersey, post-ride meal, swag bag, chip timing, rest stops, and animation along the route.
Cyclists are encouraged to register early to enter raffles and win a free registration.
“We can’t wait to host another high profile event that continues to grow and attract cyclists from across Nova Scotia and around the world. It’s been a long wait and we’re happy to see all the smiles again,” says Pam Doucet, President of the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie.
For more information and to register online, visit www.granfondobaiesaintemarie.ca/en .