Registration for the 2015 Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan opened at 9 a.m. Thursday morning. The fifth anniversary will be July 12th in Penticton and the beautiful South Okanagan. Riders who sign up now can save some cash on super Early Bird Prices (i.e. the lowest prices of the year). Also, the first 500 riders to register in the Cortofondo (55 kilometre), Mediofondo (92-km) or Granfondo (160-km) will receive a free pair of fifth anniversary arm warmers made by Italian performance apparel maker, Alé (suggested retail: $35). They will be shipped by the end of December. Sizes will be taken care of during the registration process.
Along with hosting as many as 2,700 cyclists from countries as far as Australia and Japan, the event has attracted professional cyclists like Canadians Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEDGE) and Antoine Duchesne (now with Europcar), as well as Ian Boswell (now with Sky Cycling) and Jasper Stuyven (now with Trek Factory Racing). There have also been celebrities such as Eddy Merckx, Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canuck, Alison Sydor (Olympic medal-winning mountain biker), Dallas Eakins (Edmonton Oilers head coach) and most recently Clara Hughes.