Where Gran Fondo means Big Fun!
2016 Upcoming Events
Who says Florida is flat! Centered in the rolling orange groves of Pasco County, Gran Fondo Florida starts and ends at Local Public House & Provisions on Pennsylvania Avenue in San Antonio, FL. The race follows, in part, the proposed Olympic road race course that was part of Tampa’s bid to host the Summer Olympic Games. It travels along rural rolling hills, past horse farms and crystal clear springs. Briefly going through Withlacoochee State Forest and the hills surrounding Brooksville, Florida. At the 89 mile mark you will enter a piece of US cycling history along Darby road, once home to the famous Darby Road Race that has seen the likes of Tour De France winner Laurent Fignon. This area is and has been the winter training site of some of the top triathletes in the world including members of the TIMEX team and the hometown former US National Cycling team members Josh Thornton and Derek Wilkerson.
Nestled in Rabun County, the ride starts in the heart of downtown Clayton Georgia under the shadow of Black Rock Mt. State Park, and heads south on old 441. After passing through Unicoi State Park, the route turns right onto the Unicoi Gap climb. Riders enter the mountainous area that was made famous by the 2003-2008 Tour de Georgia. In 2008, Unicoi Gap was the second to last climb on the approach to the race-deciding ascent up Brasstown Bald where Kanstantin Suitsou got the jump on Trent Lowe and Levi Leipheimer to win the event. Be sure to plan to stick around for beers, food and music severed up at the finish line by the Universal Joint.
Bicycling Spring Classic, presented by Specialized
April 24, 2016; Morgan Hill, CA
Now as a points event for the Gran Fondo National Championship Series, you can join Bicycling Magazine editors and Specialized VIPs on scenic Northern California roads. Bicycling invites you to join the editors for the Bicycling Spring Classic, to be held in Morgan Hill on Sunday, April 24th. Three routes of 25, 60, and 90 miles offer riders of every ability the chance to enjoy some of the best roads in Northern California—the same scenic climbs and descents used as proving grounds for Specialized’s cutting-edge bikes and equipment. NOTE: this event is managed by Bicycling Magazine and sanctioned by GFNCS as a series points event.
Highlands Gran Fondo,
Sunday June 5, 2016 at 7:30 AM; Butler, NJ
The Highlands Gran Fondo in New Jersey showcases some of the best riding around. It’s hard to believe riding this good is located in such close proximity to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The Highlands area is a 1,343 square mile region of Northern New Jersey which is noted for its scenic landscape and environmental importance. Much like this ride, the area is composed of rolling farmland, hilly ridgelines, and winding roads that weave up and down the lush green mountains. As you enjoy the diversity of the beautiful terrain and scenery, the route will take you through three counties and two states. As the loop progresses so will the elevation, the gran loop will gain 8,000 vertical feet. This event is sure to expose you to roads you never thought could be tucked away so close to one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country.
Gran Fondo Asheville, Presented by Duke Energy
Saturday June 18, 2016 at 8:00 AM; Asheville, NC.
Discover alluring Asheville, from the unique perspective of your handlebars. Experience the only cycling event that starts in Asheville, North Carolina, one of 15 must-see travel destinations in the world according to Frommer’s travel guides. Your ride begins in funky art deco downtown and quickly moves along well-marked winding roads out into pastoral countryside and up to mountain ridge vistas. At the end of the ride as you descend into the heart of town you will be afforded a spectacular cityscape view and greeted by Organicfest. Riders and families can enjoy the festivities of Organicfest—music, vendors, massage therapists, kids zone, and of course– organic food and beer!. READ MORE
In mid-summer, the High Country of North Carolina enjoys 80-degree temperatures while the surrounding East Coast temperatures hover in the high 90s. August 2nd is a prime time to be in Boone. The Boone Gran Fondo rolls through Appalachian State University and, after just a few turns, climbs beside picturesque Winklers Creek during the first timed section. After a short downhill and a climb up the gorgeous Shull’s Mill road, the course passes the Blue Ridge Parkway and turns onto Hwy 221. This section of road was hand built in the 1890’s across Grandfather Mountain and served as the Blue Ridge Parkway until the 1980’s. This second timed section is like a paved roller coaster. READ MORE
Based out of beautiful downtown Golden, CO, the Golden Gran Fondo will take racers on a historic circuit through the Rocky Mountains. Beginning with an ascent up Lookout Mountain, the start of the event traces the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Lookout Mountain, offers spectacular views across the Front Range Mountains, down on the city of Golden and the Coors Beer brewery. The course then continues it’s tracing of historical bicycle racing with a long climb towards the continental divide and some of the same roads used in the Coors Classic and featured in the movie American Flyers (Kevin Costner’s classic cycling film that was set in Golden). Upon reaching the scenic Peak to Peak Highway, racers will be treated to high alpine vistas, lung busting ascents, a taste of hard pack dirt road, and a total of 14,000 feet of climbing before returning to downtown Golden where riders can replenish their exhausted bodies but full souls. This course is sure to test your climbing prowess while treating you to some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes anywhere!
Gran Fondo Maryland
5th Annual National Championship,
Sunday September 18, 2016 at 7:45 AM; Frederick, MD
Located in the closest mountain range to our nations capital, the Gran Fondo Maryland route will lead you on an exploration of beautiful mountain roads. After starting in historic downtown Frederick Maryland, the 100 mile loop will climb 10,000 feet through several different state parks, municipal forests, protected watersheds, and the Catoctin Mountain National Park. Riders will travel north through rolling farmland before entering the Frederick Municipal Forest where the first timed section will gain over 1000’ on a 3.5 mile climb. At the top riders will be able to relax and enjoy the cool mountain forest as the course continues north towards the second timed section that climbs another 1000 feet over three miles through the Catoctin Mountain National Park. The course then descends to the bottom of the park forest and winds between ridges for 16 miles before the 3.5 mile false flat climb of the third timed section through the Emmitsburg Watershed. Enjoy the fresh air coming off of Turkey Creek as you hit the halfway point of the race. Riders will be greeted by a steady seven mile climb that peaks out at almost 1800’ before delivering riders to a welcome 30 mile stretch of untimed road that travels along the contours of South Mountain range. Harp Hill may be less than two miles long, but it will have some of the steepest consistent grades, this was a KOM in the national classic Tour DuPont! …. read more