The 2016 Axel Merckx Granfondo saw close to 2

The 2016 Axel Merckx Granfondo saw close to 2

Great ride for Greater Trail cyclists at Penticton Granfondo

Cyclists from Trail and Rossland pedalled to top placings at the Penticton Granfondo on Sunday.

Greater Trail cyclists raced to the front of the pack at Penticton’s 2016 Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (PGAMO) road race on Sunday.

Trail’s Jackson Konkin came first overall in the 55-kilometre Cortofondo, while Rossland cyclist Evelyn Cross raced to top spot in the 92-km Mediofondo for her age group, and Rino DiBiasio placed second in the 80-99 year old category.

“I know it’s kind of crazy but I climb that Rossland hill once a week, and I’ve been doing that for quite some time, and I don’t know if that helped me or what,” said Cross.

The 73-year-old Rossland resident has raced in the event since its start six years ago, and this year was her best finish yet.

Konkin, 16, blew away all comers in the 55-K event finishing in 1:33:16, and beating close to 300 racers in the Cortofondo, including the second-place finisher by over six minutes.

“It felt a lot better than last year,” said Konkin, who finished second in last year’s race. “I definitely got a lot stronger.”

About 2,700 cyclists participated in the event that included the 55-k Cortofondo, the 92-km Mediofondo, the 126-km Velocefondo, and the 160-km Granfondo.

“There are some really good bike riders up in Rossland.” says Cross. “It’s a motivator. I bike ride, I go out to Waneta and up the Pend d’Oreille … There’s more people riding in our area and I just think it’s good to cover some of that, because we have a good training ground here.”

The PGAMO is much more than an epic ride through the heart of British Columbia’s wine country. It’s an entire weekend of cycling camaraderie, family activities, Okanagan sunshine and regional delicacies. Highlights of Granfondo Weekend include the Kids’ Piccolofondo, lululemon’s Wheels and Reels, Granfondo Women’s Night, and of course, the Big Ride on Sunday.