RBC GranFondo Whistler’s exuberant cyclists led by Simon Whitfield, Adam van Koeverden & Alex Stieda

Saturday, September 8, 2012

As the sun rose above the Sea to Sky Highway, thousands of cyclists began their epic 122km ride from Vancouver to Whistler.

By early afternoon, participants were rocking to Canadian music icons, Barney Bentall and Jim Cuddy in Whistler’s Celebration Park.

“What an honour to have our Canadian Flagbearers from the 2008 & 2012 Summer Olympic Games carry the flag today to celebrate their fellow cyclists.” said Kevin Thompson, Co-founder of the event.“ Today marks an important moment for RBC GranFondo Whistler as we continue to evolve and enhance the way our participants are able to enjoy their ride”.

In this, the third year of the event, GranFondo Canada introduced a start that included 34km with a minimum of two car-free lane widths.

"The RBC GranFondo Whistler has motivated many of our clients and staff to embrace the sport of cycling, along with all the health and wellness benefits that come with it," said Graham MacLachlan, Regional President, RBC Royal Bank, and an RBC GranFondo Whistler participant.  "Additionally, many of our employees volunteered today and even more came out to cheer.  It was truly inspiring to ride alongside the RBC Training Team, together with thousands of other riders.”

On behalf of the RBC GranFondo Whistler, RBC donated $30,000 to The Fraser River Discovery Centre through their Blue Water Project. This interpretive centre connects communities in discovery and celebration of the past, present and future of the living, working Fraser River. The river basin is one of the most diverse watersheds in North America. It contributes millions of dollars to the economy and is home to 60% of the population of BC.

A fun new addition to this year’s RBC GranFondo Whistler, was the King & Queen of the Mountain.

The fastest female up the 1.5 km climb was Leah Guloien (Port Moody, BC), the fastest male was Sebastian Salas (Vancouver).

First to cross the RBC GranFondo Whistler Finish Line was Marvin Guzman (Vancouver, BC) with a time of 3:24:29.5 and in the women’s division, Leah Guloien (Port Moody, BC) with a time of 3:28:01.

Media Contact:

GranFondo Canada

Kirsten Mihailides

604-618-3572 or kirst@direct.ca

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 14, the inaugural RBC GranFondo Banff on August 25 and the third annual RBC GranFondo Whistler on September 8. For more information visit:

www.granfondocanada.com

About the RBC Blue Water Project

The RBC Blue Water Project is an innovative, wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world’s most precious natural resource: fresh water. It includes a $50 million philanthropic commitment to organizations that protect watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water. The RBC Blue Water Project also promotes responsible water use through awareness programs and supports programs that encourage businesses to develop and commercialize innovative solutions to the water issues facing the world.  Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $42 million to more than 500 not-for-profit organizations worldwide that protect watersheds or ensure access to clean drinking water. For more information, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.

RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2011-2012 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the DJSI North American Index. RBC has been named one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and one of the Best Workplaces in Canada. In 2011, we contributed more than $98 million to causes worldwide through donations and community investments of more than $64 million, and $34 million in sponsorship of community events and national organizations.

Kirsten Mihailides

GranFondo Canada

kirst@direct.ca 

T(604)732-1921

C(604)618-3572