Race FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Please read through the FAQs before contacting us.

THE RACE
Which event should I enter?
We offer four great events – P2A CENTO Paris to Ancaster (approximately 110KM), P2A CLASSIC Cambridge to Ancaster (approximately 70KM), and the P2A BRÈVE St. George to Ancaster (approximately 45KM following the final portion of the Paris to Ancaster/Cambridge to Ancaster course), and the P2A FAMILY Fun Ride (a unique route except for the final climb). The Canadian Gravel Championships use the P2A CENTO route. As there are cutoff times, we would recommend that inexperienced or first time participants tackle the P2A BRÈVE (45km) race or the P2A FAMILY (20km casual non-race) ride the first year, prior to attempting the longer distances in a future year. The P2A BRÈVE offers all the same benefits as the P2A CLASSIC, including lots of fun and challenging terrain (eg Jack's Dirt Chute, the Prengerlaan, the Powerline Road Mud Slide, Martin Road Climb), with just a little less pain than the full P2A CLASSIC route. The P2A FAMILY 20km route is untimed, less muddy, family friendly and a perfect introduction to the P2A experience. PLEASE NOTE: - Unlike most races, the route, and therefore the distances, can change up to and including race day. The P2A has a unique blend of public roads, public property, public trails and private land. Circumstances can cause a change to our route.

Is the route very technically difficult?
No, by mountain biking standards the route is not a difficult technical challenge. It is a long, periodically very muddy, (unless it rains …) and physically challenging and interesting ride though. As is the trend, most people are using a gravel or cyclocross bike to ride the P2A. That produces its own challenges with loose gravel and mud.

How muddy is it?
99.8% of the route is ride-able in all weather conditions. There are 3-4 short sections of guaranteed mud. These are 50m to 100 m long, 3-10cm deep. Many riders shoulder their bike and run these sections.

Are maps of the route available?
No, we do not publish maps of the route because several sections of the course are on private property, which we only have permission to use on race day. To help ensure the longevity of the race we ask that you do not trespass on other days of the year. The map pages have directions to the start and finish lines and as we get closer to the race date, we will add a spectator map for those who want to watch.

When will the course be marked/Can I pre ride the route?
See question above. The final route is not marked until the morning of the race. In the event of bad weather some sections of the course may be excluded to prevent environmental damage, or detoured around downed trees. Unlike most races, the route, and therefore the distances, change up to and including race day. There are legal pre-ride maps, without private property, available via the MAPS button above. This will give you a taste of the terrain you will encounter. Please be aware that much is weather dependent and April 2023 is a long way off.

What are the elimination/cut off times?
Riders should be confident that they can finish the P2A CENTO ride in 5 hours. Riders should be confident that they can finish the P2A CLASSIC ride in 4 1/2 hours or the P2A BRÈVE ride in 3 hours. The race course will close at pro-rated times at 35km, 20km and 10km to go. If you're late you will not be permitted to continue. Cutoff times will be adjusted according to course conditions at the organizer's discretion.

PLEASE NOTE: - CUTOFF TIMES/LOCATIONS FOR ALL EVENT DISTANCES MAY BE ADJUSTED UP TO AND INCLUDING RACE DAY DEPENDENT UPON COURSE CONDITIONS

Cutoff #1 - Cambridge 10:30am - approximately 68KM TO GO (shuttle available)
Cutoff #2 - Harrisburg Aid Station 12:30pm - 36KM TO GO (shuttle available)
Cutoff #3 - Jerseyville Road & the Rail Trail - 2pm 14KM TO GO (shuttle available)
Cutoff #4 - Slote Road and Mineral Springs Road - 2:30pm 6KM TO GO (you will be directed east on Mineral Springs Road bypassing the Powerline Road Mud Slide)

The shuttle will take you to the finish line. We recommend that inexperienced or first time participants tackle the P2A BRÈVE their first year, prior to attempting the P2A CLASSIC or the P2A CENTO event in the future.


REGISTRATION
Where do I get my race number?
Saturday, April 29 2023 - 10am to 5pm for CANADIAN GRAVEL CHAMPIONSHIPS, P2A CENTO, P2A CLASSIC, P2A BRÈVE and P2A FAMILY at the Ancaster Community Center/Robert E. Wade Community Park, Ancaster Ontario
LINK TO MAP.
Sunday, April 30 2023 - VIP only at Ancaster Community Centre (no P2A CENTO, P2A CLASSIC or P2A BRÈVE pickup)
Sunday, April 30 2023 - P2A Convenience Package at Ancaster Supercentre YOU NEED TO BE THERE REALLY EARLY - MAP CLICK HERE (2ND MAP LOWER ON PAGE)
Sunday, April 30 2023 – Bishop Tonnos High School for the P2A FAMILY only

Can I register race day?
No. You need to register on line. Be aware that there are field limits and package limits (eg. bus/truck purchases, VIP, etc.)

Can I pick up the race number and registration kit on race day?
Yes AND No. VIPs have always been able to pick up their kits in Ancaster on race day. Registrants who purchased the P2A Convenience Package through registration may also pick up their kit in Ancaster on race day. P2A FAMILY riders can pick up their kit at Bishop Tonnos School (the ride start) on race day. If you are riding the P2A BRÈVE or P2A CLASSIC or P2A CENTO there is no race day kit pick up. There are so many people doing these 3 distances that if everyone showed up on race day we couldn't get them their kit and have them reach the starts on time. Please assist us by coming to get your kit on Saturday. Thank you for your understanding.

What if I can’t make it the day before the race to pick up my race kit?

Kits can be picked up by a friend, team captain, etc. To pick up kits for you, they will need to show an email from you indicating that you in fact do give permission to pick it up for you as well as their ID.

Can I pick up the race number and registration kit for my friends?

YES! In fact we encourage it! However, in order to pick up kits for friends you will need to show an email from them indicating you in fact do have permission to pick it up. You will also need to show your ID in order to pick up your own kit. Remember that kit pick up is on Saturday, not Race Day.

Can I get a refund? Can I get a raincheck for next year?
Our refund policy is NO REFUNDS. There are no rainchecks.

Can I transfer my registration to another rider?
Yes. To transfer your entry to another rider you will need to log into your Race Roster Account. The transfer fee is $20 +taxes. You need to have a person to transfer your registration to. We do not provide that nor do we keep a waiting list. Your spot in a particular start is not retained by the person you transfer your registration to. TRANSFERS MUST BE FULLY COMPLETED BY WEDNESDAY APRIL 19 2023 11:59PM.

Is there a waiting list for each start or event?
No, we do not have a waiting list.

Can I change events or starts?
Yes, when you pick up your race number, go to the event/start change table to see if a spot is available in what you want.  Be patient - riders frequently switch starts or move from the P2A CLASSIC 70km race to the P2A BRÈVE 45km rac,e for example, leaving openings to be filled. It is done on a first come, first served basis. We can't guarantee that you will be able to change even if you are waiting.

If I can't make it to the race and I am already registered will you mail me my t-shirt?
No, we will donate it for you to one of our volunteer marshaling organizations. If you ordered other merchandise from the race store, please email.



RACE LICENSES
Do I need a racing licence?
No, but a licence/permit from Cycling Canada, The Ontario Cycling Association , USA Cycling, or any UCI federation will get preferred seeding (subject to start limits).

How do I enter without my 2023 licence?
You can enter the P2A National Gravel Championships now with your 2022 race license, or no license, at this time. If you wish to enter the P2A National Gravel Championships you must have a valid license prior to the close of electronic registration on April 24 2023 11:59PM. Before April 24 log into your Race Roster account and update your licence information. LICENSES WILL BE VERIFIED AT KIT PICKUP. If you don't have a valid license by then you will not be racing in the Championships.

To enter the P2A CENTO Start 1 or the P2A CLASSIC (70km) Start 1, use your 2022 licence information. Before the race log into your Race Roster account and update your licence information (must be completed by Monday April 24, 2023 11:59PM).

To enter Start 2 of the P2A CENTO or Starts 2-5 of the P2A CLASSIC race, or either start of the P2A BRÈVE race, there are no qualification/licence/membership standards.



TRANSPORTATION FOR YOU AND YOUR GEAR
How does the pre-race bus and truck work?

Riders must pre-register for the $25 pre-race bus and truck service. From the Ancaster Supercentre (3K from the finish line in Ancaster), bikes will be loaded onto trucks to be taken to the start lines in Paris, Cambridge and St. George. Bus departure times appear on each distance's registration page. A reminder will be emailed to you just prior to race weekend regarding the availability of buses for your distance. There will be no race day walkup pre-race bus service. You must have a prepaid reservation. Reservations for the pre-race bus close when capacity is reached, or April 24, 2023, 11:59PM. If you have already registered, you can add a bus/ bike truck ticket through our registration partner,, Race Roster. Note: There is no pre-race bus and truck service for P2A FAMILY Ride.

How does the post-race bike truck work?
For the P2A CENTO, P2A CLASSIC and P2A BRÈVE races another $25 option is available to truck your bike back to the start line after the race, a time saving option if your ultimate destination is west of Paris. Your bike will be loaded onto a truck and returned to the start line, where it will be stored in a secure bike corral area, manned by a security guard until you come to get it. In the meantime, you get to have lunch, trade stories, stay for the awards ceremony and then take the shuttle bus back to the start line, where your bike will be waiting. The start line corral will close at 6pm. Bus service every 20 minutes is included.You can pay for this service when you register. If you have already registered, you can add a bike truck ticket through our registration partner, Race Roster.

How does your bag transfer service work?
When you come to registration, pick up a white gear bag and clearly write your race number on it. Put your pre ride clothes and/or post ride essentials in the bag, take them to one of our trucks at the start line and we will transport them to the finish. Retrieve your stuff by showing your number plate at the finish line. We are not responsible for lost/ stolen items. Do not include valuables.

AWARDS
What are the award categories?

Cash awards for the top 10 male & female racers overall (P2A CENTO race only). Final purse tba. Medals to the top 3 in each age group and special classification (singlespeed, unicycle etc) in the P2A CLASSIC and P2A BRÈVE. P2A FAMILY is untimed thus there are no results or awards.

When can I get my medal and/or prize money?
Award ceremonies are at 3pm on race day at the Ancaster community centre. You or a representative must be in attendance to get your medal/prize. Medals/prizes will not be mailed.


THE BICYCLE
What kind of bike should I use?
Mountain bikes, hybrids and cyclocross bikes are recommended. The race has been won on a cyclo-cross bike, 26" mtb, 29" mtb and a road bike, (with mtb pedals and a world junior time trial champion on board).

Are E-bikes Permitted in the P2A?
Yes and no. Electric assisted bikes are encouraged to join the P2A FAMILY Ride. No electric assisted bikes (no motors of any kind) are permitted in the P2A CENTO, P2A CLASSIC and P2A BRÈVE, as these 3 events are races. If you have accommodations and use an e-bike please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your circumstances.

What is a tandem?
A tandem is a bicycle built for 2 riders. We consider trail-a-bike type things tandems as well.

What is a Fat Bike?
A fat bike is a style of bicycle built with extra wide tires. This category appears in both the P2A BRÈVE and the P2A CLASSIC. We are specifying a minimum tire width of 3.7" as stamped on the sidewall of the tire. We'll check at the finish. It shouldn't be a problem as most fat bikes are using 4 inch or wider tires.

Can I use earbuds or headphones?
No.

Can I use aero bars/extensions?
No, the P2A is a mass start race. You must have your hands near your brakes. Aero bars/extensions are not permitted on either drop bars or flat bars. Bar ends are permitted on flat bars (ie. mountain bike bars) only. If you are found to be using aero bars/extensions you will disqualified and/or excluded from the results.


ACCOMMODATION
Are there places to stay over on Saturday Night before the race?
Yes. Brant County Tourism can direct you to a number of accommodations in the region. CLICK HERE


WAIVER UPDATE

Most participants in the P2A do not have to present a signed waiver at registration. If you are over 18, the online waiver you acknowledged when entering is sufficient. Exceptions
- If you are under 18, a parent or guardian must sign a paper waiver. Faxed or photocopied signatures are acceptable.
- The 2nd adult in a tandem, mixed team in P2A CLASSIC or P2A BRÈVE and the P2A FAMILY entry must have a signed waiver.
- All “in person” race entries on Saturday April 29 will have to sign a paper waiver.
LINK TO 2023 EVENT WAIVER

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