Special Olympics BC's Andrea Zonneveld (on bike) accepted a cheque for $20

Registration opens for Prospera Valley GranFondo

Fort Langley event raised $20,000 for B.C. Special Olympics

Following a successful inaugural event, organizers of the Prospera Valley GranFondo are expecting an even bigger turnout in 2013.

While the ride is still nine months away, early bird registration began on Nov. 1 with the Canadian Velo Event Management Society holding an official launch for the July 21, 2013 ride.

The launch was held at the Fort Langley Historic Site, which will again serve as the starting and finish point for the mass cycling event.

Last year saw 1,200 cyclists participate and organizers expect 2,000 riders this time around.

One of the changes in next year’s event is the addition of a 50-km PrestoFondo, a shorter ride which will give people who are new to the sport and opportunity to experience the thrill of participating in a new mass road-cycling event.

This will be one of three distances participants can choose from as there will also be an 88-km MedioFondo and the 160-km GranFondo.

Prospera Credit Union will serve as the title sponsor for the second straight year, and the proceeds from the event will again go to Special Olympics BC.

At the Nov. 1 launch event, Andrea Zonneveld accepted a $20,000 cheque on behalf of the organization.

“I thought it was pretty awesome and very cool,” said Zonneveld, who helped out at last year’s GranFondo.

Zonneveld has competed in Special Olympics for the past 20 years, playing floor hockey, basketball, curling, soccer and softball. She is debating giving golf a shot.

She thanked the GranFondo organizers for all the support they have provided Special Olympics athletes such as herself.

“It means a lot to have your support,” Zonneveld said.

“We have a lot of passion for our sports.”

“(We) are proud and excited to be the title sponsor,” said Bill Sandhu, the Langley Prospera Credit Union branch manager.

Sandhu was at the 2012 event and he recalled the excitement in cheering on the participants.

“That kind of excitement is contagious,” he said.

“That is why we are thrilled for the 2013 event.”

Township Mayor Jack Froese admitted to having some concerns heading into last year’s ride, but those proved to be baseless,

“It was seamless,” he said, also expressing admiration for the riders who participated.

Froese said that getting more and more people on bikes is the overall goal.

“To have a sporting event like this, not only does it support the sport, it encourages people to be healthy … and use bikes as a mode of transport,” he said.

To register, click here.

Cyclists take off down Mavis Avenue during the inaugural Prospera Valley GranFondo mass cycling event, benefiting Special Olympics B.C. The route took 1,200 cyclists from the Fort Langley National Historic Site, down country roads to Abbotsford, up Sumas Mountain and back to Fort Langley.

Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times file photo

Just Posted

GREEN BEAT: Langley prof witnesses a desperately dry country

The current drought in New South Wales is being called one of the worst ever, B.C. is so fortunate

Still anyone’s game in lacrosse championships unfolding in Langley

Orangeville, Okotoks victorious on Day 2 of Minto Cup nationals at the Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: A few small changes help drive attendance at Saturday’s Arts Alive

Langley art festival brings close to 200 various artists and thousands of spectators to Langley City

Abandoned house blaze worries Langley neighbours

Redevelopment area of Willowby attracts squatters and partiers, and fires fear area residents

Day 1 underway at 2019 Minto Cup in Langley

Coquitlam and Orangeville out ahead after the first day of action at Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: Bubblemania in the burbs

Doggies frolic about when a bubblemaking machine is set to create fun in their Langley City yard

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read