On Friday, Cycling Canada, the country’s governing body for cycling, announced the cancellation of the 2023 Velo.Victo.Fest UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifying road race and time trial scheduled in July. The event was the only cycling race in Canada where amateurs could qualify for the world championships taking place in Scotland next August.
Alluding to an unexpected change in sponsorship, funding and loss of their website, Velo.Victo.Fest also made the bleak announcement on Facebook,“Now, the hardest news to share: we have to take a break in 2023 for the Classic and Vélo.Victo.Fest events.”
They also commented on the uncertain impact of how this will affect the 2026 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships awarded to Canada and the Velo.Victo.Fest organization recently.
“This decision comes after several discussions within the Board of Directors that have taken place over the past few months, in response to various decisions by external partners that ended up undermining, at a critical moment, our momentum as we were on our way to organizing the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in 2026. The coming months will allow us to assess several scenarios for the future.”
Alexis Pinard, President of Velo.Victo.Fest, acknowledged the disappointment felt throughout the Canadian cycling community upon the announcement, “I can understand the disappointment of our volunteers, participants and many of our partners when seeing today’s announcement. We can be proud of having fulfilled our promise brilliantly, making our region shine with passion, and that our second Event of the Year title in Canada in two editions of the Vélo.Victo.Fest. confirms the professionalism and extraordinary qualities of our many volunteers. Nonetheless and unfortunately, we must recognize that, under the circumstances, the winning conditions are not currently in place to allow us to be present in 2023.”
Only one North American UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifying race remain scheduled, UCI Cheaha Challenge in Alabama, USA on 21 May 2023.