03/15/2012 01:52 EDT | Updated 05/15/2012 05:12 EDT

Banff cycling race wins approval

A major cycling event planned for Banff has been given the green light by Parks Canada officials.

GranFondo Canada won approval to stage a 142-kilometre ride through the Banff area on Aug. 25.

The organization fully understands the concerns about the impact of the 1,500-cyclist race on the park, said co-founder Neil McKinnon.

“Parks Canada have been fair, reasonable, they’ve checked us out and made sure that it’s consistent with the plans for the park. And finally we’ve been given the approval. So we’re just thrilled,” he said.

The route begins at central park in Banff, around Tunnel Mountain, past the Hoodoos, through the Lake Minnewanka Loop, past Two Jack Lake, then up the Bow Valley Parkway to the Lake Louise turnaround, and finally back to Banff.

Registration for the RBC GranFondo Banff opens Thursday.

Gran fondo, Italian for "big ride”, generally refers to a race of 100-kilometres or more designed for a large number of cyclists at a variety of skill levels, according to the GranFondo Canada website.