The world is coming
RBC GranFondo Whistler is delighted to be hosting the 2020 UCI World Gran Fondo Championships, held in North America for the first time.
The Championships are a prestigious event where all amateurs can compete for the right to wear the famous Rainbow Jersey – showing everyone you’re the World Champion. Even better, you can win this jersey across each 5-year age category for both men and women, giving you a real shot at the glory.
How can I take part?
The 2019 RBC GranFondo Whistler is an official UCI Gran Fondo World Series event, making it a qualifying event for the 2020 World Championships. If you want to ride in the Championships, you need to qualify in this year’s event.
Use this page to discover more about how to qualify, what’s going on and plenty of specific details.
The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are the pinnacle of Gran Fondo competition. The event is run each year in different locations between local organisers and the UCI – cycling’s global governing body, attracting cyclists from around the world.
The road to 2020 begins now. Both the 2020 Championships and World Series qualifiers in 2019 take place on the same established 122km / 76mi RBC GranFondo Whistler course.
In 2019, the top 20% of each 5-year age group will qualify for the 2020 World Champs. And then in 2020, the race to be 1st is on!
It’s important to know that in 2020, you’ll still be able to participate in RBC GranFondo Whistler as normal, regardless of whether you’re qualified for the World Champs. This is in-line with our stated aims of inclusivity and community development, as well as our pride in developing North America’s most successful Gran Fondo event.
Open to all
You don’t need a license or to be a pro to take part – everyone can attempt to qualify.
Start your training early to get an advantage on your age group. In 2020, you have a shot at being crowned World Champion.
Detailed info about eligibility can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section below. Certain groups such as those holding UCI points are excluded.
“Whether you have a racing background or not, if you’ve ridden some Gran Fondos, then you are more than capable to try and qualify for the World Championships”
-Union Cycliste International
Qualify in 2019
To ride at the World Champs in 2020, first you need to qualify. Here’s how to do that:
Secondly, you must place in the top 20% of your age group. Please see the frequently asked questions section below for exact age group details.
The 122km Gran Fondo and 122km St. Regis Cup will contribute to the same age groups – it doesn’t matter which of the two categories you are riding in.
If you achieve a top 20% placing in 2019, the UCI will contact you directly after the event with further details on how to join the World Championship startlist.
In 2020, the same age groups will be used to award individual winners World Champion status and the famous Rainbow Jersey, both male and female. This means there will be a male and female World Champion for ages 19-34, 35-39 and so on.
Please note that the 2020 World Champs will be happening alongside RBC GranFondo Whistler – meaning you can still ride in the event without qualifying.
World Series course
The World Series course will use the Gran Fondo 122km category. Only riders in the Gran Fondo 122km category will be eligible to qualify for the 2020 World Championships.
The UCI Gran Fondo World Series is a ‘cycling for all’ series where cyclists from all over the world can participate in events where they can obtain their ticket for the official UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in different age groups.
Cyclists who ride in the 2019 RBC GranFondo are eligible to qualify for the 2020 World Championships. If you register in the GranFondo or St. Regis Cup categories, and finish in the top 20% of your age group, you will qualify for the 2020 UCI GranFondo World Championships.
The 20% is rounded to the highest number to determine the exact number of qualified riders per age group (for instance: with 25 starters, 6,25 eligible for qualification, meaning that the first 7 will be invited for the World Championships)
The first three finishers within the 8 official age categories listed below will always qualify directly for the World Championships, independently of the number of starters in that age group. Riders must finish the race to be qualified. The 20% is calculated based on the number of starters, not on the number of preregistered riders or riders finishing the race. The winners of the qualification slots will be announced on the UCIGFWS website and will be invited by e-mail.
The following are allowed to qualify and participate in the World Championships:
- Riders without a license
- Master license
- Cycling for all license
- An elite license with exception of:
- Any rider who has during the current year been a member of a team registered with the UCI.
- Any rider who has taken part in a world championship, the Olympic games, continental championships or games, regional games, the Commonwealth games, or a World Cup during the current year, other than events for masters.
- Any rider who has UCI points in any discipline at the moment of the event.
Please note, riders of continental teams are not eligible for the World Championships.
Only riders born before 31 December 2001 can qualify for the 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. For events organized in the same year and immediately following the 2019 World Championships (September-December 2019), riders aged 18 in 2019 may already qualify as they will turn 19 in the year of the 2020 World Championships.
In 2019, we will only be hosting a Gran Fondo road race qualifier, and no time trial. However, we will host a time trial in 2020.
This means that all qualified riders in the 122km distance at the event in 2019 automatically also qualify for the Time Trial World Championships in 2020.
As the 2020 UCI GranFondo World Championships will be run on the GranFondo course, cyclists must ride this course in 2019 to be eligible to qualify for the World Championships. The eligible categories therefore are Gran Fondo and St. Regis Cup.
If you are currently registered for the Forte and wish to switch category to the Gran Fondo or St. Regis cup, please email the Athlete Relations team at info [at ] rbcgranfondo.com.
Qualifying times will be based on chip time. The timing chips, located on the back of the bike plate, will register when riders cross the start line and the finish line. This means there is no disadvantage to starting in a later start corral.
However, in the World Championships, gun time is used.
nb. The St. Regis Cup race results will be based on gun start and chip finish time, however the cyclists’ chip time will still be used to calculate their UCI GranFondo World Championships qualifying time.
Age groups are as follows, for both women and men:
*Should more than 6 riders register for any additional age groups, specific qualification for the World Championships will also be granted within the given age category (i.e. 70-74, 75-80, etc.)
UCI rules also specify that additional age groups above 70, 75 etc. will be created from the moment there are 6 or more riders to split an older age group from the 65+. If there are less than 6 riders, results will be combined and qualification awarded in one 65+ age group. This rule also applies for the World Championships.
Under UCI rules, the age of a rider in a UCI event is classified as the age you are on the 31st of December of the year of the event.
For example, someone born in December 1969 will already be participating and ranked in the 50-54 age groups. Riders who switch age group in between their qualification and the World Championships will automatically take their qualification from Whistler (or one of the other qualifier events) to the next age groups and don’t have to qualify again.
As results are based on chip time, riders can start in any corral. The final time will be based on when a cyclist crosses the start line to when they cross the finish time.
In 2019, you do not need a license to take part at all.
Here’s the UCI rules for World Championship licensing in 2020:
“1.1 Licenses In order to participate, riders need a national license from a UCI affiliated national cycling federation. An international license is not required. It is the rider’s responsibility to check if the license also covers him/her with a race insurance for races abroad and eventually take out a private insurance policy. Admitted licenses: • Amateur license • Master license • Cycling for All license • Elite license with exception of: a) Any rider who has during the current year been a member of a UCI registered team. b) Any rider who has taken part in a World Championships, the Olympic Games, Continental Games, Regional Games, the Commonwealth Games, or a World Cup during the current year. c) Any rider who has scored UCI points in the year of the World Championships.”
More info will be released about this closer to the time.
All riders who place in the top 20% of their age group at an official UCI Gran Fondo World Championship Qualifier event will be contacted directly by the UCI to confirm their success and advise for next steps in entering the subsequent World Champs. Please expect this to occur at least a period of several months after the event as rider times need to be double and triple checked, as well as aligned with global databases.
Fortunately, the 2019 Qualifiers at RBC GranFondo Whistler are exactly a year before the World Champs here in Vancouver / Whistler in 2020, so time is definitely on your side. Feel free to reach out to us directly if you need additional information or clarity.
Although we will publish results on our website, from a technical perspective these are only preliminary and not official until the the list is published on the www.ucigranfondoworldseries.
Riders may use any type of bike (road bike, mountain bike, city bike, hybrid bike, cross bike, etc.) with the exception of tandem or recumbent bikes. In the road race event, time trial bikes are forbidden.
In the World Championships, all bikes will be checked for compliance with the UCI’s regulations. For more information visit: uci.ch (see pages 60 to 71 for bike specifications)
Riders are free to wear any type of jersey in the qualifier events, with the following exceptions:
- Reigning World Champions are obliged to wear their official jersey in UGFWS qualifier events in the discipline (road race or time trial) in which they won the World Title
- It is forbidden to wear the rainbow stripes (or any variation of their design) on the national team jersey, bike, helmet, shoes or overshoes during the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
We’re glad you asked. It’s all to do with the way the UCI calendar works.
The calendar for 2020 qualifying events is released in the summer of the year before (ie, summer 2019). However, that would only be a matter of months before RBC GranFondo Whistler 2019, an official qualifying (World Series) event.
To give riders the best chance of qualifying and to make travel arrangements, we have agreed special dispensation from the UCI to announce RBC GranFondo Whistler 2019 as a World Series event earlier than normal. However, the official UCI calendar will still not be made public until the summer of 2019.
The World Championships will then be held on September 12, 2020 at RBC GranFondo Whistler.
Yes! Just because the World Series is being hosted here, doesn’t mean the rest of the event isn’t happening just as you know and love.
In 2019, the corral starts are the same as they’ve always been – you’ll start in the category you’ve chosen, staggered by expected finishing time. You’ll ride as any other year, with the only difference being the top 20% of each 5-year Gran Fondo category age-group will get contacted by the UCI afterwards to invite them to the World Championships in 2020.