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March 9/12 8:02 am - Mario Cipollini to Ride Axel Merckx Granfondo

Posted by Editoress on 03/9/12

On July 8, 2012, one of the most prolific and popular cyclists of this generation will join Axel Merckx in Penticton, B.C., to ride the second annual Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan. From 1989 to 2005, Mario Cipollini - also known as Cipo, the Lion King, and Super Mario - captured 191 pro tour victories with his unrivaled speed. His victories and polarizing character also made him one of the most popular riders ever to start a grand tour.

Cipollini will join several already confirmed guests including: former Vancouver Canuck captain, Trevor Linden; Hollywood actor, Ethan Suplee; and, former mountain bike Olympic medalist, Alison Sydor.

“Mario brings a new level of excitement to our event. For those who have followed his career, you’ll know that Mario Cipollini was one of the most dominant cyclists ever,” said Axel Merckx. “This may be one of the only chances fans in North America will have to ride with this cycling legend.”

The 2012 Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (VFGFAMO) is a fully supported ride featuring several categories and distances to challenge cyclists of all levels. The traditional Granfondo spans 160 kilometres, while the shorter Mediofondo and Cortofondo categories feature 92 kilometre and 55 kilometre routes, respectively. This year, the 2012 VFGFAMO has joined the UCI World Cycling Tour as its only North American stop. This new twist in the Granfondo category allows those riders who want to push their competitive limits to do so, and qualify for the chance to race at the UCI World Tour Final in South Africa - and possibly earn a UCI rainbow jersey. The Granfondo weekend on July 6-8 will also feature a full schedule of events leading up to and following the ride.

For more information about the Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan and to register, visit .


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