Road to the UCI World Championships

2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships & 2019 World Series

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The world is coming

In 2018, RBC GranFondo Whistler won the bid to hold 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.

The 2019 RBC GranFondo Whistler is an official UCI Gran Fondo World Series event, making it a qualifying event for the 2020 World Championships.

What's happening?

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.

Qualify in 2019

To ride at the World Champs in 2020, first you need to qualify. Here’s how to do that:

Firstly, you must enter either the Gran Fondo or St. Regis Cup categories at RBC GranFondo Whistler 2019. The Medio and Forte will not qualify you.

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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I qualify for the 2020 UCI Gran Fondo 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.

Can I qualify for the 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships by riding in the Medio or Forte categories in 2019?

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 ]

How are the qualifying times calculated?

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.

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.

What are the age groups?

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.)

What start corral should I start in?

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.

Do I need a license, UCI or otherwise, to take part?

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.

How do I know if I've successfully qualified?

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.

Why don't I see RBC GranFondo Whistler 2019 on the UCI calendar?

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.

I'm not interested in the World Series. Can I ride the event like normal?

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.


I have a question that I don't see answered. Where can I get more info?

Yes! We love keeping you informed. Please email our Athlete Services team, and we’ll put together a summary of questions asked with their answers shortly. Also, make sure you are subscribed to our emails to get the latest developments sent right through to your inbox.

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