It has been a tough pandemic year for Canadian event organiser RBC GranFondo…and it is only getting worse with the cancellation of their flagship RBC GranFondo Whistler race, again.

It is impossible to claim when exactly “business as usual” will return. In the event planning world, this uncertainty causes an endless list of blockages. Contractors and businesses have gone under, permits are not being issued, the first mass participation events carry public risk, and at every turn we have to figure out how to stay afloat as a small business.

For this reason, it is with a realistic acceptance and sadness that we will not be holding a physical 2021 RBC GranFondo Whistler this 11 September.

RBC GranFondo

The Vancouver based amateur cycling organiser started last year with high hopes and huge plans to host the 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, only to watch world championship qualifying races around the globe and ultimately their Gran Fondo World Championship event cancel due to the pandemic.

In addition, RBC GranFondo Whistler, one of North America’s Top 10 Gran Fondos, and RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley in California were cancelled as well.

Then RBC dished out real pain for registered riders – RBC would not issue any refunds. Even the UCI requested RBC refund 2020 Gran Fondo World Championship entry fees, but RBC declined and abandoned their “rider first” reputation in favor of an “organiser first” fiscal policy.

After deciding to cancel the 2021 Whistler event this week, they announced, once again, RBC would keep all entry fees collected not only in 2020, but 2021 as well. As consolation, registered riders would automatically be moved to a future edition in 2022, 2023 or beyond – if another one occurs at all.

If circumstances require that the entire or a portion of the event is canceled or changed for reasons such as but not limited to extreme weather, fire, poor air quality, landslide, revoked permits, protest, demonstrations, accidents, terrorist incidents, health emergencies or health decries, etc., no refunds will be processed to the participant.

RBC GranFondo

Twitter user Alex @aaalmondtree was quick to share his disgust with RBC.

It’s a good gig – take the registration fees, cancel (again), and keep the money. It’s criminal.

Please kindly refund the 2020 and 2021 entry fees. It’s the right thing to do.

Twitter user @aaalmondtree

As always, we suggest riders read every event’s refund policy carefully before registering – especially in the current “events are being cancelled daily” environment. In addition, we recommend skipping any event that does not offer a generous refund policy if the organiser does not hold the event.

PHOTOS © Tammy Brimner

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