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Can We Qualify For The World Championships Of GranFondo? | GCN Rides RBC Whistler

Can We Qualify For The World Championships Of GranFondo? | GCN Rides RBC Whistler


( empowering music) – Utterly spectacular. I don’t think I’ve ridden in better places quite like this before. – [Simon] We’re here at the start line of the biggest Gran
Fondo in North America: the RBC Gran Fondo Whistler. – Yeah, Jeremy and I are here to take part and also to try and finish fast enough to actually qualify for next year’s Gran Fondo World Championships, which are going to be taking
place at this very event in September, 2020. – And as two ex-pros, you
would think we’d be prepared for a Gran Fondo against
5,000 other riders, but I’ve never done a Gran Fondo before. – Nope, we have no idea how
hard this is going to be. (soft music) The people at the event
company behind RBC Gran Fondo got in touch to invite us out here and set us the challenge of qualifying. I’ll be honest, I’ve wanted
to come and ride my bike in Vancouver for over two decades. So this seems like an
amazing opportunity to do it. – [Jeremy] And having not been
here for a really long time, I was so excited to come back. The route goes up the
stunning Sea to Sky Highway from downtown Vancouver,
over the Lions Gate Bridge, and all the way up to the
iconic town of Whistler, home to some of the world’s
best snowboarding and skiing, as well as in the summer, some
of the best mountain biking in North America. And a slew of people who
just love the outdoors. It’s 122 kilometers long,
which is over 75 miles. It has over 1,900 meters of climbing, which is over 6,000 feet. And in order to qualify
for the world championship, we need to finish within the
top 20% of our age group’s time which last year was three
hours and 30 minutes. And when I look at the course profile, it seems pretty fast. – We had already worked out
a plan of attack though. And being the rock n’
roll duo that we are, it was hatched over
afternoon tea the day before at the Sheraton Wall Centre,
the hotel who were kindly putting up with us for a couple of days. (soft music) – I’ll be honest Jeremy, I really want to beat you tomorrow. – I want to beat you too. But I think we should work together. – Yeah, okay. – How’s your training been? – Awful, you? – Not good. – Should we carb load instead? – Yes. (energetic melody) – Well I’m telling you, never have I ever been so glad of some Trans-Atlantic jet lag than in the morning of an event like this. The gun that goes at 6:50 a.m. So that means breakfast of some kind, sort of 4:30ish. What do you mean how can I eat breakfast eight hours after a pasta party? Always room for breakfast. – Saddle bag, multi tool,
tubes, tons of food, race numbers, shoes,
helmet, glasses, mini pump, heart rate monitor strap so
we know how hard we’re going and when to shut it down,
shorts, jersey, aqua cause Simon’s been talking a big game, like he’s not stopping
at any of the rest stops but I’m not going past the cookie stop. I don’t care how hard we’re going, I’m stopping. And a long sleeve jersey to give to somebody at the
start so I don’t get cold. – Whole stash of energy gels, and I’ve got bar in there as well then I was going to take this gilet just to stash in my back pocket in case it gets a bit colder altitude or maybe even to start with. Likewise, a pair of arm
warmers. There should be enough room in my pocket to stash them when it does warm a little a bit later. And then I think the
last thing I’ll squeeze in there is Go-Pro. I’m going to vlog the (beep) out of it. (empowering music) – I’d say there’s some nerves. Some pre-race nerves going on. – Aw yeah, I’m definitely going to. I got to get down. I got the butterflies a comin. – Yes anyways the hotel has very kindly laid on a breakfast for us all to eat at stupid o’clock in the morning. So here we are like 5:00
am and we’re eating jam and peanut butter sandwiches. And you’re having eggs and
peanut butter aren’t you? Or eggs and jam? (motivating music) – Right, we got 2 minutes to go, between me and Jeremy, we’ve got Alex Stieda who
is the first North American to ever worn the yellow
jersey at Tour De France. We catch with Alex a little bit later. Jeremy, your first Gran Fondo, how ya feelin buddy? – I have the butterflies
in my stomach, I’m worried. I’m glad that I have a man that’s worn the Tour De France yellow jersey next to me ’cause I’m nervous. – Yeah and by the way
you got to check it out. Alex is going to be riding
the very bike that he rode in the 1986 Tour De
France, ot’s super cool. – [Announcer] Three, two, one. (gunshot) – [Announcer] They’re off. (upbeat music) – Do, do, do, do, do, this is Simon’s blog at 27.1 kilometers, so far we have, well we have to finish this,
had the most amazing run down the Sea to Sky Highway. It’s a nice fast rolling road but it’s got to a lot of kink in it and so it’s deceptively hammer your legs, I think a little bit. Jeremy, wonder how far he is. We’ve been ducking and diving. But we’ve been riding now
for 51 minutes, 38 seconds. As a former cyclists pro,
I know that he’s only got about an hour and five minutes in him. So I’m expecting him to blow
in for about 13 minutes time. So hopefully you gotten him now on camera. We’ll see what happens. But the views so far have
been absolutely mind blowing. I’ve chosen a bit that you
can’t really see no more. But anyway, hopefully you’re going to have some attractive shots of the scenery that I haven’t filmed because
I overlay them on the top. It’s an epic montage with
classical music maybe. (classical music) (record scratch) – Yeah, like that. Things are starting to
get a little spicy now. Jeremy and I got carried away on the KOM and then we managed to get caught by basically the race crew. So we’re just going to get
involved, see what happens. There’s some team tactics goin on. These boys Hemlock,
pretty well represented. And they got a guy down the
road who is currently solo. So it’s going to be a
little bit jumpy till another move goes. And we’re just going to hang
in there for grim death. (upbeat music) – Right, casually lined out at about 48 ks an hour in a minute. I can see on my on the animation profile that we’re on a little bit
of flat and then we go up. The start of this line basically. Hopefully Jeremy and I
can get as far forward on this road as possible to
match my back sliding space which is where basically we can go slower than everyone else but
technically still not get dropped. Fingers crossed. (bass music) – So how ya feeling mate? – I feel the first hour,
I was good, how far we in? – It’s about an hour
and eight minutes now. – It’s weird, my legs aren’t feeling as good as they were before that. Going to try and shake them out. Run a little hard there for
a second, didn’t feel right. Not great for nothing. – Okay mate you just dig in
and you’ll be all right man. You’ll get your second wind. Good job buddy. – Thank you. (upbeat music) – A big climb at least 10 miles long. And it’s going pretty fast. I said barely hangin on to this group. It’s probably got 40 or 50
in it, mSimn’s up there. He’s beating on me. Some good teams here. Skinny riders. – This is Simon’s vlog, 72.2 kilometers. I bet if you knew complex maps. It’s pretty much uphill all
the way from here to finish. Meaning that the end is 121 kilometers. We got 50k climb coming up. So I thought I’d better talk to you early before I start breathing
at another orifice. Anyway, you see still hangin
in, there’s a big group. Jeremy’s in it too somewhere. Let’s see how long he can last. (inspirational music) – [Simon] While Jeremy and
I have got our heads down and are basically racing up to Whistler as fast as we can, it’s got
to be said that for the vast of the majority of the nearly
5,000 riders taking part, actually, savoring the ride
is far higher up their agenda. For many getting a sub
four hour time is the goal or shaving time off their
efforts from previous years. For others, though, it’s simply completing
their very first epic ride. For everyone thought, the
stokes levels are high. It means to hide the pain face
behind every sized eyewear. Simon, just caught up to him. And he wanted to know if I had been in the group the whole time. I told him I had been. Just getting ready to pounce. I’m playing mind games
for when I (exclaims). (upbeat music) – [Jeremy] Here we go, the finish line. (bell ringing) – That was cool, oh yes,
that was very very cool. (bell ringing) – Woo hoo.
– Ta da. – You did it.
– My son’s going to be wearing this around partying with my new necklace. – Aww mate. – That was cool. – That was cool. – How did you find it? – Hard, I was hurting,
I was hurting, yeah. I haven’t done I can’t say
I’ve done that much riding in a while, it’s been about 4 months. I was looking back thinking about this 3,000 plus kilojoule ride. I was suffering and I don’t
think I have to be honest that I knew what I was
getting myself into exactly. I had not idea. I didn’t bring the right food. I definitely didn’t bring
like the bike attires and all the things that I would have. I really didn’t prepare quite right. – Well.
– I hope that we qualified. – Well this is it. We’ve got to keep our fingers crossed because the trouble is that we got caught by the first group because
we had a little head start. So that means technically
we finished 10 minutes down on wherever we finished with those riders. So we’re going to have to keep
our fingers firmly crossed. It’s a little demoralizing. But they had the group
and they had the momentum. You know what it’s like when it’s racing. – Yeah
– Yeah, we were kind of like, we were out there. – Enjoying it. – Kissing babies, hanging
out, doing our thing. – It’s telling actually. I looked at the view
for the first 50, 60 k and it was the most amazing
thing you’ve ever seen. And then we got caught by the bunch. I forgot to look at the view. So actually the whole load
of Sea to Sky Highway, that I haven’t actually seen yet. (laughs)
So I’m looking forward to seeing that tomorrow on the way home. I mean man, that is a classic ride. – That is a beautiful ride. Yeah they did an awesome job here and I just have to say even
just being here at the bottom of the mountain it’s
like honestly beautiful but the whole ride up
was basically looking at all the islands coming up and there were the beautiful
rivers off to the side. And the fact that they
got the road closed down, I was pretty stunned. And the organization was top. – [Jeremy] Yeah all right,
let’s go find a beer. – Yeah.
– And then let’s hit the after party ’cause that’s legendary. – [Simon] Okay. – As you can tell, we have
survived the after party. And have now made it
back down to Vancouver. But one question, still remains. Have we qualified for the
World Championships next year? – Yes, man. – Yeah, we did. – Yes. – Yeah we did. – [Jeremy] Yeah I think
we did okay, didn’t we? It was relatively
comfortable getting inside that time limit. – [Simon] I felt terrible
but I think looked better than I actually felt, I saved face. – Well yeah and you
got a cookie out of it. – Yeah.
– I didn’t stop for a cookie. I’m kind of regretting that.
– You didn’t. Yeah, you should feel bad about that. That’s a little disrespectful. – Yeah and I maybe also
got bit carried away and didn’t look at the view
enough on the way through. – It’s on you. – Yeah, maybe next time we
can just chill out a bit and enjoy it like most
people as opposed to. – Yeah, that’s what I suggested. – Yeah, sorry about that mate. – That’s all right.
– Yeah, I kind of can’t help
myself sometimes, yeah. Anyway, if you would
like to see another event where we were fortunate enough to attend and there’s a great video
you can click through to just on the screen now. Of course a huge thank you
to the event organizers for bring us over here. So please give this video a big thumbs up.

14 comments on “Can We Qualify For The World Championships Of GranFondo? | GCN Rides RBC Whistler

  1. You guys should do Levi's! Similar to this one, but in California. I've done it twice and it was brutal both times, though the second time was more because I'd run 14 miles the day before and spent 45 minutes waiting at the mile 40 aid station for my mate to get a neutral service bike after smashing his wheel on a cattle grate.

  2. Where were the female participants, why didn’t you show any?…….(so far!! I’m only 13 mins in as I write this)……

  3. What do Todger Foccacia, Billy Baguettei and Pedro Panini all have in common? They’re all doughpers, they’re all on the E.P.Dough

  4. Awesome video! Really catches the GF feel!
    Just a question that sticks for me.. How does this whole WC qualifying system work?
    I mean i've finished top 10% in both the French Alpes –> https://www.strava.com/activities/2512132613
    and the new Valais GF. How does this Whistler event get such a "easy" passing into the WC..?
    If anyone would be kind enough to clear this up. Thanks in advance!

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