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10 things you need to know about Paris to Ancaster bicycle race

Beloved spring classic set for April 28

1. It’s more than a quarter-century old. Paris to Ancaster bike race, modelled after the toughest bicycle races in Europe, was first held 26 years ago. Sure, gravel racing is all the rage now, but people have been racing gravel at P2A for decades.

2. You race on a bit of everything. The race combines road, dirt, gravel, mud, farm fields and more in one incredible spring classic.

3. There is no perfect ride. Paris to Ancaster is a unique race in that riders will travel over all manner of surfaces including a lot of mud, so although cyclocross tends to be the right of choice, it can and has been done on anything and everything including road and mountain bikes.

4. But there is a perfect distance for you. There are many distances from which to choose so everyone does not have to do the full 70-kilometre race. There are also distances that work well including a 40K and VIP experience and for parents and children who want to ride together, there is a 20K family ride.

5. Participants can ride the trails less ridden. Paris to Ancaster has unique relationships with local rural landowners to allow riders access to their property on race day, and only on race day.

6. Expect muddy conditions. It just wouldn’t be Paris to Ancaster without a lot of mud, and based on the epic rainfalls in the weeks leading up to the race, this year will be no different. Embrace the mud. The mud is your friend.

7. Participants line up with world-class competition. Paris to Ancaster is one race where weekend warriors and armchair athletes can test their pedal mettle against world-class cyclists. This year, in addition to individual athletes, Floyds Pro Cycling team and X Speed United will be in attendance along with U23 development team CCB Siclari and a couple of riders from the Norco UCI mountain bike team.

8. The event also gives back to the community. This year, Paris to Ancaster announced its formal sponsorship of the Canadian National Cyclo-Cross team. In addition, funds from the ride support the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation.

9. Always, always have a change of clothes handy. Because of the variable, and beloved,  conditions that make the race so special, participants can expect to get wet and muddy. Enjoy that post-race glow a little longer by stashing some dry clothes at the finish line. You can thank us later.

10. There is still room. But, online registration ends April 22, and there is still some space available, so do not delay.

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