Golden Gran Fondo Returns for 2014

The Golden Gran Fondo is back, my friends. And even though I swore (many times aloud, even) while I was racing this last summer that I'd never do this race again, I'm doing it. Apparently it's like labor. I've forgotten juuuuuuuuuuust enough of the pain to be excited about the second Golden Gran Fondo. There's a 20, 60 and 90 mile loop. If you choose the 90 mile loop, you are committing yourself to about 12,000 feet of climbing.

[Editor's note: I hadn't really paid attention to this fact prior to last year's race. I figured I'd show up with my husband and we'd have a fun "date ride." I lost him at the base of Lookout and found him roughly 7 hours later at the finish in Parfet Park. Good times.]

Marty Quinn and Reuben Kline have put together one of the most challenging, rigorous, FUN courses you'll ever race. Extremely well-supported and marked, this race is crafted like no other. The timed sections that Gran Fondos offer are unique to any racing we have here in Colorado. It's not necessarily the fastest rider overall who wins. It's perhaps the best strategist. It's no wonder that the Golden Gran Fondo was named 10 Best by Outside Magazine.

*If this sounds like your cup of Skratch, do not wait! Early Bird Pricing (save $20) applies if you register by 12/31/13. Just enter the coupon code "earlybird" when completing the registration here on After that, prices will remain the same until day-of registration.

All the basics of the Golden Gran Fondo
Location: Golden, Colorado
Date: June 29, 2014
Start Time: 8:00 AM
Price: 90, 60, 20 as follows: $135, $115, $90

  • 3 loops to choose from: 90 mile, 60 mile, 20 mile. Click here for maps.
  • Event is open to all.
  • 4 timed sections in 90 Mile Route – Best Combined Time wins.
  • Prizes for 90 mile overall and age group winners.
  • Awards for 60 mile and 20 mile winners.
  • Fully stocked aid stations to keep you going.

*Must Register by 5/30/14 to Receive a Complimentary Descente Event Jersey. After 5/30/14 jerseys are not included in price.
Click here to register now!

News Item: 


Real Gran Fondos ARE races

Having done 5 Gran Fondos in Italy, real Gran Fondos are races. You pin on a number, there is a mass start at an official time, there is a finish line you have to cross, and when it is over, they put up a list of placings where everyone finished. It is a race. A lot of centuries in the US have hoped on the band wagon and call themselves Gran Fondos, but are just the same century. Furthermore, in Italy where you are ranked by your total time for the course, most US Gran Fondos only time uphill sections and you get placed by your cumulative time of the climbs. I would bet that is because of liability of people tearing down descents.

A rose by any other name...

When you say "real Gran Fondos" it makes me think of the joke, "was it a real clown, or somebody dressed like a clown?" If the promoters call an event a Gran Fondo, isn't that enough to make it a Gran Fondo? Are there established rules as to what constitutes a Gran Fondo, published by some authoritative Gran Fondo organization?


I would say a definite 'Maybe'. Gran Fondos originated in Italy (cyclosportives in other countries). If you sign up for any Gran Fondo there, you will get exactly what i described above. I wish that American organizers stuck to that theme, but now you just actually have to look at the details to know.

A few years ago I did the

A few years ago I did the Flanders Cyclosportive... tens of thousands of riders on a set course with all those things you say a gran fondo has, and not for one moment did I think I was in a race. Especially not when hanging around the feed stations gorging myself on waffles and chatting with other riders.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that any event that has feed stations where people get off their bikes to eat/replinish liquids/etc... ain't a race. Don't care how hard the folks who think they're racing actually ride, or whether they stop or not. If folks stop as a routing part of the event, not a race.