Before the Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan hits the pavement in Penticton, the 2011 Masters Road Race will get things rolling in the morning.
VFGAMO is hosting the 2011 B.C. Masters Road Race championships on July 10. Cycling B.C. made the announcement on April 14 as the race will be part of the inaugural VFGFAMO cycling festival.
“We’re excited to host B.C.’s top masters cyclists in what should be an amazing weekend of cycling,” said former pro tour cyclist Axel Merckx. “It really ties up with the Granfondo.”
The masters races will include the following categories: master men B (40 to 49), C (50 to 59) and D (60-plus) and master’s women B (40 to 49), C (50 to 59) and D (60-plus). Only 100 spots will be available for the championship event and riders must hold a masters category 1, 2 or 3 license. Category 4 masters can seek approval or upgrade from Cycling B.C. to participate.
Merckx said it’s the kind of the demographics that they have registered for the Granfondo.
“It’s kind of nice to have a race like that,” he said. “It makes it a little more special because it brings provincials this way.”
Combining the two was possible because Merckx has a strong
relationship with Cycling B.C. in part because of the Axel Merckx Youth Development program created to raise some money.
“We came to an agreement pretty fast,” said Merckx. “They know that we were interested in having it and the time of the year it’s perfect for everybody.”
For participants in doubt of eligibility, they can contact Cycling B.C. Cycling B.C. couldn’t be reached for comment.
On Saturday, the VFGAMO will be holding its Prefondo ride — a free non-supported ride for all Granfondo registered cyclists. There will be over 150 cyclists travelling in from Alberta, Washington and B.C., to ride with Merckx. This will also act as a fundraiser for the Feed the Valley campaign.
The day begins at the Bike Barn tent at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Ramada Inn Penticton. Riders will be asked to sign a waiver. At 9:30 a.m. riders will depart on either their choice of a 40 kilometre or a 90 km loop. At 1 p.m. riders return and are treated to informative sessions offered by VFGFAMO partners, Balance Point Racing and Hammer Nutrition. As well, Merckx will address the group, appetizers will be served, and prizes drawn for those