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

Puck set to drop on Giants post-season

Playoff hockey at Langley Events Centre March 27 and 29, including a nationally televised game

Three Giants named to second all-star team

Langley-based G-Men Bowen Byram, Ty Ronning, David Tendeck all recognized by WHL.

Two men charged in separate drug busts in Abbotsford

Items seized in one case include fentanyl, heroin and $6,000

VIDEO: RCMP investigate after more than one vehicle torched at Aldergrove home

Neighbours are getting worried after second arson in a month

Second suspect wanted in attack on autistic man was alleged target in 2015 shooting

Parmvir Chahil lived next door in Abbotsford to victim Ping Shun Ao, killed by stray bullet

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

5 to start your day

A famous bunny sidelined in Chilliwack, multiple vehicles torched in Aldergrove and more

Travellers urged to be careful after Coquitlam travel agency has licence revoked

Regulating body shut down Kimiya Travel Ltd. on Friday

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Son of late Canadian professor fights for mother’s release from Iran

Mehran Seyed-Emami’s father, an Iranian-Canadian professor, died in an Iranian jail after being accused of spying.

Most Read