Who says Florida is flat! Centered in the rolling orange groves of Pasco County, the Central Florida Gran Fondo 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.
Highlands Gran Fondo,
June 7, 2015 at 7:30 AM; Newfoundland, 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 9,000 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.
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!
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 3rd 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
Gran Fondo Asheville,
August 30, 2015 at 8:00 AM; Asheville, NC.
Take a Sunday drive on two wheels and see the Smoky Mountains from a whole new perspective during Gran Fondo Asheville. Together with Friends of the Smokies, the Gran Fondo National Championship Series® (GFNCS) brings a seventh event to Asheville, NC and the surrounding mountains. The Gran Fondo Asheville will start and finish in the heart of Asheville, in Pack Square Park. Riders will be welcomed to the finish line by the annual Organicfest where they can join in the celebration of everything organic, green, healthy & sustainable. Riders are provide a first serving of healthy organic food when they finish and can enjoy the music, body-workers, vendors, family fun, and even more great food at Organicfest. Asheville not only offers amazing riding but an all-around great time! Come join us to kick off the next great cycling event in America and help Friends of the Smokies preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness, and providing volunteers for needed projects. READ MORE
3rd Annual Gran Fondo National Championship,
September 20, 2015 at 7:45 AM; Frederick, MD
The Gran Fondo National Championship in historic Frederick, Maryland is your opportunity to earn the title of fastest rider in the incredible Gran Fondo arena. We offer some of the longest timed sections and most challenging terrain of any Gran Fondo. The rider with the fastest combined time through each designated section will have truly earned their Gran Fondo National Championship Jersey.