Bluewater International Granfondo Vice Chair Jon Palumbo, Steering Committee Member Anita Trusler and Chair Ken MacAlpine announce plans for the 2017 event. January 10, 2017 BlackburnNews.com photo by Melanie Irwin

Grander Granfondo In 2017

The second annual Bluewater International Granfondo will be bigger and more exciting this year.

Around 750 cyclists will be welcomed to the area this summer, up from the 500 cyclists from across Canada and the U.S. who participated in 2016.

Event Chair Ken MacAlpine helped make the announcement Tuesday morning at Tourism Sarnia-Lambton on Venetian Blvd.

“The location we have at Mike Weir Park is second to none,” says MacAlpine. “The start line alongside Lake Huron is like nothing else in Canada and the route itself is well supported by the fuel stations and many volunteers out there. The routes are also designed to accommodate beginning cyclists and also very experienced cyclists that want to race it.”

The event on August 6 will again include 50 k, 100 k and 150 k routes.

The Granfondo, an Italian word meaning “great big race,” will offer timed sections with relaxed biking in-between.

“It is emotional for a lot of people. A lot of people have been touched by friends, family and loved ones who have gone to both the hospice and palliative care,” says MacAlpine.

It’s hoped over $40,000 is raised this year to support palliative care resources in our community and host a two-day palliative care conference here, with world class speakers, in October.

Registration for last year’s inaugural event sold out six weeks before the event and $30,000 was split between St. Joseph’s Hospice and Palliative Care at Bluewater Health.

About 200 cyclists have already registered at www.bigf.ca.

Early registration is encouraged, especially since this years event will be promoted by Tourism Sarnia-Lambton at the Toronto International Bicycle Show March 3-5.