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Tour de Cure returns Aug. 24 and 25 to raise millions for BC Cancer research

Join Surj Sandher and the Conquistadors of Cancer as they pedal towards a future without cancer
Surrey’s Surj Sandher, with wife and fellow cancer survivor, Hardeep, prepare for the Tour de Cure with their cycling team, the Conquistadors of Cancer. Courtesy BC Cancer

“It was a phenomenal experience,” says Surrey’s Surj Sandher reflecting on his first year riding in the Tour de Cure.

Tour de Cure is B.C.’s largest cycling fundraiser, raising over $124 million to fuel research at BC Cancer via the BC Cancer Foundation. Each year, thousands of cyclists from across the province gather in the Fraser Valley to ride 200 km from Cloverdale to Hope.

The emotion of the event is hard for Surj, a cancer survivor, to put into words. Camaraderie, energy, freedom all come to mind.

“After I was diagnosed, I remember saying to my wife that I had more things to accomplish. When I joined my team, they gave me freedom and took my mind off everything that was going on.”

Surj’s passion led him to co-captain the Conquistadors alongside veteran rider Colleen Franks. Surj’s wife and fellow cancer survivor, Hardeep, their daughter, Paige, and dozens more have joined over the years – mainly from Fraser Valley communities, but some travel from the Okanagan and even Calgary for the ride.

The Conquistadors of Cancer cycling team welcomes riders of every skill-level for the Tour de Cure, an essential fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation. Courtesy BC Cancer

Everyone joins for their own reason, but regardless of their connection before the ride, they finish the season as a family. The team welcomes riders of every skill-level and Colleen says that’s part of what makes Tour de Cure so special.

“Last year, we had a team member who was newer to cycling and riding for his mom. At the last minute, he decided to do the longer 260 km challenge route,” shares Colleen. “To ride alongside him and Surj’s daughter – those younger members stepping outside their comfort zone for their parents – is an incredible feeling. We work together as a team, helping each other through to the finish line.”

Over the past 12 years, their team has raised nearly $700,000 to fuel BC Cancer’s research programs and clinical trials. These programs bring hope to the 30,000 British Columbians diagnosed each year, over a third of whom come from the Fraser region.

“I feel like I am a different person. I’ve gained a lot personally from the ride, on top of knowing that we’re supporting cancer research,” says Colleen.

“The memories are phenomenal. Every year is a new experience, but crossing the finish line is an overwhelming feeling and I look forward to it every year,” adds Surj.

Tour de Cure takes place August 24-25 and riders can choose between a 200 or 260 km route. After the first day, riders look forward to a welcoming overnight camp in Chilliwack with food, showers and festivities. For the first time, there’s also a one-day option, where participants can join for the second leg between Chilliwack and Hope.

Ready to join the Tour de Cure? Register or learn more at