Let champions be born

2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships

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The world is coming

UCI Gran Fondo World Championships – Vancouver / Whistler , Sept 9-13, 2020

RBC GranFondo Whistler  is delighted to be hosting the 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World 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 at a UCI Gran Fondo World Series event. We’ll be posting the global calendar shortly, but in the meantime, you can find it here.

How do I register for the World Championships?

All qualified riders will be privately emailed by the UCI once results are ratified with a link to register.

If you are not sure whether you have qualified but still want to benefit from 2020 early bird pricing, we encourage you to register for the Gran Fondo category in 2020 and we will transfer your entry to a World Championship place for no additional cost if the UCI send you a World Champ registration link.

Use this page to discover more about how to qualify, what’s going on and plenty of specific details.

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. The 2020 Championships take place on the same established 122km / 76mi RBC GranFondo Whistler course.

In 2019/20, the top 20% of each 5-year age group at UCI Gran Fondo World Series events 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:

Firstly, you must register for and ride in a UCI Gran Fondo World Series event.

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.

The winner of each female/male age group will win this UCI World Series jersey in 2019
This UCI Gran Fondo World Series medal is given to the top 20% of each 5 year age group in 2019

2019 World Series store

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The hallowed Rainbow Jersey - worn by each 5 year age group World Champion in 2020!

UCI Gran Fondo World Championships course

Travelling here + deals

Vancouver skyline / Tourism Vancouver

With our partners in Vancouver, Whistler and in the travel industry, we have created a range of travel, accommodation, transport and package deals to make your UCI Worlds experience seamless, both for you and your family.


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 2019/20 UCI Gran Fondo World Series 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.

Who is eligible and not eligible to qualify for the World Championships?

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.

Are you holding a time trial? How do I qualify for the time trial in 2020?

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.

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.

However, in the World Championships, gun time is used.

What are the age groups?

Age groups are as follows,  for both women and men:


Age groups are defined by the rider’s age on December 31st of the year of the respective World Championships.

A qualifier event may also organize additional age categories (70-74, 75-79, etc.). Should more than 6 riders register for any of these additional age groups, specific qualification for the World Championships will also be granted within the given age category.

Are there age groups for 70+?

Yes, if 6 riders of more cross the line in a 5 year age group.

See the above question ‘What are the age groups?’ for more information.

What's the youngest age allowed to take part in either the Qualifiers or World Champs?

We’ll try and keep this one simple.

All riders born in 2001 or before are eligible for both.

What age group am I in if my age changes between now and the World Series / Champs?

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.

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?

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.

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.com website.

What bikes are allowed?

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)

What are the jersey guidelines?

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.
How do I register for the World Championships?

Firstly, the UCI will email you directly if you’ve qualified under the criteria specified above.

The UCI’s email will have a direct, private link to this registration platform.

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

Yes! Just because the World Championships are being hosted here, doesn’t mean the rest of the event isn’t happening just as you know and love.

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

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.

UCI Gran Fondo World Championships – Vancouver / Whistler, Sept 9-13, 2020

World Champs registration links sent out privately to qualified riders

Register for GFW2020

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