cycling season and time for the April 2014 edition of La Gazetta delle
Granfondo – the official online newsletter of the Prospera Granfondo
Axel Merckx Okanagan (PGAMO).
As part of our
commitment to supporting
community and charitable
programs, we’re proud to announce our partnership with Cops for Cancer,
an exciting annual fundraising initiative that takes place across
Canada each year. This year, as many as 30 first responders will ride
the 2014 Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (PGAMO) in support of
the Canadian Cancer Society and Camp Goodtimes,
a Lower Mainland summer retreat for children with cancer and their
families. Our Cops for Cancer riders hope to raise $30,000. While a
cure for the deadly disease has not been found, great strides have been
made in treatment options.
Confirmed Penticton riders include: Cpl. Brian Burke, Cpl. France
Burke, Cpl. Brad Caruso and Cpl. Warren Kraft of the Penticton RCMP, as
well as Penticton Search and Rescue’s Mike Porter. These local cyclists
will join Insp. Brad Haugli (the former officer in charge in
Penticton), and many other first responders. Donations can be made
(click on the “Donate” menu item on the top right corner).
For more info, check out a story profiling the Cops for Cancer
initiative featured earlier this month in the Penticton Western: http://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/community/253829391.html.
The Cops for Cancer program joins the Axel Merckx Youth Development
Foundation – a not-for-profit initiative established in 2011 to help
develop and steward the future of Canada’s young cyclists – as the
chosen charities for this year’s Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx
Okanagan. Find out more here: http://www.granfondoaxelmerckx.com/charities.
preparations for this year’s event are heating up. Here are some of the
(April 26th – Penticton, B.C.): Only a few spots remain
for the Prefondo Training Ride in 11 days. This complimentary BONUS
event is open to anyone who registers for the 2014 Prospera Granfondo
Axel Merckx Okanagan (PGAMO). For more information, visit: http://www.granfondoaxelmerckx.com/prefondo.
Ramada: Our host hotel of the 2014 PGAMO, the Penticton
Ramada, is officially sold out for Granfondo Weekend. If you’re looking
to train in Penticton before the big event, they offer registered
riders amazing rates until June 14, 2014. Registrants can take
advantage of rooms at $79 per night (plus taxes), based on single and
double occupancy. To book, visit them online at:
www.pentictonramada.com, e-mail: email@example.com,
or call: 1-800-665-4966 to reserve your room.
Other local hotels are filling up fast. Reserve your accommodations
Reservations Inc. offers a “one-stop-shop” for all your
travel needs. Accommodation options are available to meet everyone’s
budget, from economical to superior rated lodgings. Call 1-800-663-1900
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
to our contest winner: Granfondo rider and Calgarian,
James Foster, was randomly selected as the winner of the Ultimate
Cyclist Getaway, consisting of a trip to the 2014 Amgen Tour of
California and a ride in the Bissell Development Team car with Axel
Merckx. More contests coming up soon…
Granfondo Prep Clinics: Kelowna
Cycle offers a great
series of clinics to help riders develop bike skills and general
fitness for this year’s 2014 PGAMO. If you live in the Kelowna area,
check them out. The next clinic occurs on Monday, April 21st from 6
p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kelowna Cycle Pandosy. For more details, visit: http://kelownacycle.ca/ai1ec_event/monday-night-ride-well-smile-often-fondo-clinic/?instance_id=578.
the 2014 PGAMO: Volunteers play a key role in creating an
unforgettable experience for athletes, spectators, and tourists from
all over the world who will attend this great event. You – or someone
you know – can volunteer in a broad range of roles, such as
registration, set-up, food station, clean-up, medical, course support
and more. Roles are now posted on our Volunteer page
Swagman King of the Mountain
Do you have what it takes to capture the polka dot
On July 13th, the 4th annual Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan
(PGAMO) will feature the Swagman King of the Mountain Challenge.
Riders in the Cortofondo (55 km), Mediofondo (92 km) and Granfondo (160
km) categories will be able to challenge for the fastest climber award
on the Okanagan’s Peach Orchard Hill climb, approximately 25 km into
the mass participation ride.
male and female climbers in each 10-year age group will receive a
limited edition Swagman KOM Polka Dot Jersey, as well as a Swagman Semi
2.0 platform bike rack.
“The goal of the Swagman King of the Mountain
Challenge is to generate excitement among all participants in this
year’s Granfondo,” says Axel Merckx. “We’re extremely fortunate to have
Swagman onboard this year, and some of our top climbers this year will
walk away with some amazing products from this great sponsor.”
“Swagman is honoured to be the King of the Mountain Sponsor for the
Prospera GranFondo Axel Merckx Okanagan. I personally have participated
in this event for the past two years and believe this course is one of
the most beautiful riding routes in North America. Our Semi 2.0 is our
top of the line hitch-mounted, zero frame contact rack, perfect for the
caliber of bikes that ‘Fondo cyclists are used to riding. We look
forward to welcoming all participants in this incredible event to the
Okanagan Valley,” says Swagman’s director of sales, Dave Michael.
For more information, visit: http://www.granfondoaxelmerckx.com/swagman-king-of-the-mountain-challenge.php
PGAMO Swag: Rider
Each rider in this year’s Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan
(PGAMO) will receive a complimentary sweat- and water-resistant cycling
wallet. The wallet easily holds a smart phone and ID (in case of
emergencies), $25 in cash (in case of a sudden pastry and coffee stop),
and your Cycling license. All this, and it neatly fits into your jersey
And that’s not all. We’ll soon announce more rider swag – including the
commemorative “Ride Hard. Smile Often.” technical t-shirt, and Trek
signature item. Plus, we have one more Trek bike to give away to a
Sponsor Spotlights + Contests
celebrate all of our sponsors who help make our event one of the best
in North America. Many of our partners represent the best names in
sport, tourism, and hospitality. Each time we sign-up a new sponsor,
our event improves and your experience as a rider ultimately improves.
As well, our volunteers are well cared for by our partners with
event-day food, volunteer t-shirts, etc.
In the month of April, many of our sponsors are featuring some great
contests, promotions, and exclusive opportunities. Check them out:
In the next few
months, we’ll unveil some more promotions from our
sponsors and partners…so stay tuned. In the meantime, visit our sponsor
page and join us in supporting these wonderful companies and brands:
is featuring a photo contest
that could win you a pair of Classe Speciale entries to this year’s
event (including an Alé premium cycling kit and a bottle of Le Vieux
Pin Le Cycliste Blanc wine), as well as 3-nights accommodation and
return airfare from any major city in North America to Penticton, B.C.
All you need to do is submit your favourite road ride photo here:
There are also weekly prizes, so enter early!
The contest closes April 22nd.
When you’re next in Penticton, drop
Bench Market – one of our newest, and certainly tastiest,
sponsors – and enter to win one of two entries to this year’s 2014
Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan. Stop by for some upper-level
comfort food, enter the contest and start training! Enter by the end of
Interested in a cycling camp in
Boulder, Colorado; or Mallorca, Spain; or Greenville, South Carolina? A
Travel ride camp is unlike any bike excursion you’ve ever
from the first clip-in to final farewell. Best of all, each 2014 PGAMO
rider receives a promotional discount on one of Trek Travel’s many Ride
Camps. To register for a Trek Travel Ride Camp, visit:
and enter the discount
code: 14 Axel Gran Fondo.
Finally, our official wine sponsor,
Vieux Pin, now offers their recently bottled Le Cycliste
for sale. Visit them in the Okanagan or order online at:
course, all Classe Speciale riders receive a complimentary bottle of
this signature wine.
Axel's Corner: Gearing
up for the Season
must all know by now that my friend, Trevor Linden, has been named the
new president of hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks. It’s
really exciting to see him receive the trust of what I know he
considers his “family.” I think it was really smart of him to take a
break after his playing career and catch his breath. With a fresh mind
he will go to work and rebuild this team the way only a real Canuck can.
As an athlete you are always on the quest of a goal, always looking for
that challenge in your game or race. It’s ultimately what you miss the
most after you have been out of it for a while. It is also the main
reason you go back to it if you really have a passion for the sport.
The first year after I retired I got to meet Trevor and, although we
belong to different sports, I think we could both see how hard the
transition would be. We both went from the feeling of “finally, I can
relax and have a good time,” to “I really like this sport and I want to
give something back to it.” I really think you can see the difference
between athletes who were in the sport for money as opposed to ones who
competed because they loved it. I am convinced that Trevor will do a
great job and that he will bring the Vancouver Canucks back to where
they belong in the NHL hierarchy. I am now an official Canucks fan –
even if I still have lots to learn about the game. Regardless, I hope I
will be able to cheer them on next year in the playoffs.
to cycling, we have had a great start to the season with the Bissell
Development Team. With our win in San Dimas and our second place
overall in Redlands, we showed that we are young but that we also mean
business. The “boys” are continuing where their predecessors left off,
which makes us one of the best Continental teams in North America, and
one of the top development teams in the world. We have a young and
strong team. I can’t wait to introduce them to our “Amgen Tour of
California” prize winner, James Foster of Calgary, who I am sure will
have the time of his life spending the day with me in the team car. I
will make sure we share pictures of his experience with all of you.
I would like to congratulate my Granfondo Axel Merckx teammates in
their performance in the Penticton Ramada Elevator Race a couple of
weeks ago. We finished second and beaten by a stronger team, but we
sure had a good time doing this great event. My first taste of blood in
the lungs for the year was sure a reminder of how painful it is to
compete. None of that for you, my Granfondo friends, because the only
taste you will get after crossing the finish line on July 13th is the
refreshing taste of a nice cold Tree Beer. Hope you all are having a
great Easter or Passover.
Ride hard, smile often,
Trends in Bicycle Fit
season now fully in full force, many cyclists will undoubtedly tinker
with their bike fit to ensure optimal comfort and performance. To help,
this month’s article comes courtesy of Vancouver’s Rob Wright, a
cycling biomechanics expert at Catalyst Kinetics Group in Burnaby,
Do we still use a Plumb Bob?
Since working with some of the first systems of clipless pedals over 25
years ago, the "Plumb Bob" has been part of the Bicycle Fit Tool Kit.
But how do we use it today? For as long as I can remember, we have
questioned "Knee over pedal spindle". Tradition would have us place a
rider on their bicycle while mounted on a stationary trainer. The
cyclists' feet are positioned at "9 and 3 o'clock" horizontal to the
ground, and then we would drop the bob from the protruding bone beneath
the patella on the lower leg (tibial tuberosity) to the pedal. The fore
and aft adjustment on the seat rails were used to move the saddle so
that the "Bob" fell on the center axle of the pedal.
Over the years,
many attempts have been made to qualify the benefits to
this position. It is still used today by most new and experienced
fitters. My thoughts have always promoted this theory for the
experienced cyclist already riding this position with no issues, but
newer riders not so much.
have changed for many new riders. Complaints of too much
weight on the front end, numb hands, sore knees and lack of power are
all common complaints. In most circumstances, they ride with a group of
seasoned and experienced cyclists dialed into a cadence of 90 RPM or
better, riding two or more times a week almost right out of the gates.
If this is you, try moving your seat to the rear. Consider the same
measuring method, but measure so that the bob is 10 to 20 mm behind the
axle, or use the top of knee to drop the bob over the spindle. Really,
we are reducing weight on the handlebar, tapping into a stronger muscle
group and reducing stress on the knees.
Eventually a proper professional bicycle fit will be your best solution
to bond your bicycle to your specific needs.
Rob is Catalyst
Kinetic Group’s cycling biomechanics expert, and has been
fitting bikes since 1987. He has the highest professional designations
in the field, including Retul Master's Certificate, Guru University,
Bike Fit Advanced Red Level, Fit Kit Level 3, Trek Advanced Level 2,
F.I.S.T. Certified, Serotta Personal, John Cobb, and Sylvester Fit
in Sponsoring the 2014 Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan?
The benefits that come from your association
with one of the premiere athletic and cultural events of the summer are
obvious. Strong brand. Well organized. Great cause. With as many
as 3,000 cyclists and countless friends and family members taking part,
your name and brand will be front-and-centre throughout the weekend.
For information on sponsorship opportunities, e-mail: email@example.com