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Huge turnout expected

Fourth annual Prospera Valley GranFondo expected to attract close to 1,500 riders for Fraser Valley ride

A record number of participants will take part in the fourth annual Prospera Valley GranFondo.

“We are super close to selling out,” said event director Marc Campbell on Tuesday morning.

The fourth annual mass cycling event begins and ends at the Fort Langley Historical Site on Sunday (July 19) with all of the riders departing at 7 a.m.

The ride was sold-out in 2014 with 1,200 riders and the maximum for this year’s event is 1,500.

The GranFondo offers three distances: the 50-km PrestoFondo, the 88-km MedioFondo and the 160-km GranFondo.

The latter route takes cyclists from Fort Langley south through Langley’s country roads, along Zero Avenue, along Sumas Prairie, up and over Sumas Mountain and back to Fort Langley along the Matsqui Flats and through Glen Valley along the Fraser River.

Helping everything go smoothly on Sunday will be the team of 270 volunteers.

Some new things are also in store for this year’s ride.

London Drugs will have a mobile photo booth on site and will snap a picture of each rider as they cross the finish line and have the picture ready minutes later.

Save-on-Foods will be supplying fruit and other snacks for the riders.

Another change is having more variety for post-ride food as there will be three food trucks on site: Hotties will be serving pasta, Chili Tank is offering chili and Wilkyz has burgers and smokies.

And one other change will be some more kid-friendly activities, including a bouncy castle and colouring.

“We are trying to turn this into a mini-festival,” Campbell said.

The event is operated by Canadian Velo Events Management Society, a non-profit society devoted to creating cycling events that are accessible within the Fraser Valley. The money raised will be split among the ride’s charitable partners, Cycling BCs iRide program, Devo and Bridge the Gap.