This past Saturday, a total of 3,708 cyclists made their way up Highway 99 for yet another RBC GranFondo Whistler. When it was all said and done, Calgarian John Li disrupted what would have been a Vancouver sweep in the 122-km race division by prevailing in three hours, 29 minutes and four seconds. Vancouverites Uli Mayer (3:29:22) and Spencer Hardy (3:29:36) were close behind to earn silver and bronze.
Jessica Law, also from Vancouver, was the top woman in 70th (3:49:05). Former Canadian Olympic snowboarder Darren Gardner found himself well back, finishing 2490th out of 3283 riders in his category (6:41:27).
BC riders did clean up all the hardware in the 55-km Medio event. Mark Green locked up gold (1:52:00) just ahead of his fellow West Kelowna athlete Brian Buchholz (1:52:03) in second, while Mark Fenn of North Vancouver wound up third (1:52:21).
Six women made the top 16 in the shorter race, led by fifth-place finisher Kelly Garagan of Winnipeg (1:54:54). Aussie Raechell Foote was next up in ninth (2:00:45), and Susan Parker-Bower clocked in for 12th (2:02:47). Nipping at the Kiwi's heels was Richmond's own Shiyun Han in 13th (2:03:23), then Kendra Garagan from Burnaby in 14th (2:03:28) and Isabella Foote, the Australian in 16th (2:03:45).
Meanwhile, the 152-km Forte became a stage for cyclists from out east to shine. Oliver Dowd from Mississauga locked up the crown (4:27:42), and he was joined on the podium by fellow Ontarians Nickolas Hanif (4:31:37) and Tommy Feng (4:31:38).
Claire Robinson, a Vancouver native, reached the line in 55th (5:21:04) as fastest woman.
Full results are available online.