The Okanagan Granfondo, a summertime bike competition that welcomes more than 3,000 cyclists to Penticton every year, has been recognized as the best of its kind in Canada.
As part of the 2023 Gran Fondo Guide Awards, the Penticton-based event was listed as the best in Canada and second overall in North America, only behind the Tour de Big Bear in Southern California.
Nationwide, the Okanagan Grandfondo beat out the likes of Blue International in Ontario and L’Étape Canada in Alberta.
After a two-year hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Okanagan Granfondo returned in July 2022 by welcoming thousands of cyclists to the region. Riders competed across four different categories, ranging in distance from 48 kilometres to 153 kilometres, passing through communities like Summerland, Kaleden, Okanagan Falls and Oliver.
The high-profile race starts in Penticton and attracts riders across the globe, including Olympians and international champions.
In its 2023 rankings, the Gran Fondo Guide refers to the Okanagan-based race as “one of North America’s premier cycling events.”
The full list, in order, is as follows:
• Tour de Big Bear (Big Bear Lake, Calif.)
• Okanagan Granfondo (Penticton, B.C.)
• Gran Fondo Maryland (Frederick, Md.)
• Blue Water International (Sarnia, Ont.)
• Cheaha Challenge (Jacksonville, Ala.)
• The Vermont Gran Fondo (Bristol, Vt.)
• Mammoth Gran Fondo (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.)
• Gran Fondo Hincapie-Greenville (Greenville, S.C.)
• Oregon Gran Fondo (Cotton Grove, Oreg.)
• L’Étape Canada by Tour de France (Edmonton, Alta.)
The 11th annual Okanagan Granfondo is scheduled for July 9, 2023.