Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)




What will the 2021 event look like?
Our team is currently working with Cycling BC and provincial health partners to design a 2021 event that follows the strictest COVID-19 protocols. We have monitored and assessed recent large-scale cycling events, as well recent ‘local’ cycling races, and we’re confident we can develop a safe and fun event that is compliant with the intent of the provincial health order. Of course, this may mean the event might look a little different in 2021. For instance, masks will be required in the staging and finish areas, and social distancing will be paramount.

When will general registration open for the 2021 Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan?
The opening date of general registration for new participants (i.e. those who did not register for the 2020 event) is still to be determined. We’re working to confirm all event details as soon as they are available.

What happens if the event is cancelled again in 2021?
In the event the Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (September 19th, 2021) is cancelled due to the pandemic, your registration will roll over to 2022.

What changes are being considered to make the event “COVID-19 safe”?
Some of the expected changes and enhancements to the 2021 GFAMO include:

  • Electronic package pick-up
  • Online merchandise sales
  • Wave starts
  • Modified aid stations and on course support
  • Community post-event celebrations (no finish area barbeque or beer garden)

How do the Wave Starts work?
Wave starts will be based on anticipated average speed and limited to 45 riders per wave, with a 3-minute gap between waves. The longest categories (e.g. Granfondo) will start first. Participants will be assigned to check-in to one of three pre-start muster points at a designated time. From the muster point, you will move up to the start line just prior to your start time. Physical distancing will be maintained, and masks will be required in the pre-start area. Electronic chip timing will be used and considered as your official time.

Are the course routes changing for 2021?
2021 will no doubt see changes to the course routes – largely as a result of the introduction of wave starts to maintain social distancing. The change to wave starts has increased the time it will take to get everyone started. This extended start time would require keeping some roads closed for too long. For 2021, the event will feature three distance categories (Cortofondo, Mediofondo and Granfondo) as opposed to the usual four.

Will I be able to maintain appropriate physical distancing during the event?
Physical distancing will be maintained in pre- and post-event areas. On the road, cyclists will be asked to be vigilant in positioning themselves appropriately by maintaining adequate distance between fellow riders.

Will there be any festivities after the event?
While the traditional post event celebration will not be held in 2021, we are working with community partners to create a series of post event celebrations among Penticton’s many breweries, bars and restaurants. These activities will vary between establishments and will be designed to accommodate social bubbles.

2020 Registrant Roll-Overs

Registration for the 2021 Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (GFAMO) is now open for participants who previously registered for the 2020 edition. 2020 registrants can use their roll-over credit – provided as a result of the cancellation of the 2020 GFAMO – to register for the 2021 event at no additional cost. These participants will re-register using their original contact information (i.e. the same e-mail address used in 2020). We encourage you to use your roll-over credit and register early.

I registered for 2020, but I can’t make it to the event in 2021, what should I do?
Just like in previous years, you can transfer your registration to another participant. The roll over credit itself cannot be transferred, so you will have to register first for the 2021 event – using your own roll over credit – and then you would transfer your 2021 registration to another participant. More information on our transfer policies can be accessed here:

Do I have to ride in the same category that I registered for in 2020?
If you were registered in the Granfondo, Velocefondo, Mediofondo or Cortofondo category in 2020, you can register in any category of your choosing for 2021. Please note that for 2021, only the Granfondo, Mediofondo and Cortofondo distance categories will be available.

This FAQ should answer many of your questions relating to the Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (GFAMO). If you have questions or need more clarification, please e-mail us at:, and we will do our best to reply to you as soon as possible.