Gran Fondo Boulder

There has been some talk lately about gran fondos. Levi Leipheimer put on a gran fondo this fall and it was a huge success with over 3,000 participants.

What is a gran fondo?

A Gran Fondo is a celebrated tradition in Italian cycling culture. A Gran Fondo is a long distance, mass-participation cycling event – not a race – that welcomes professional, amateur, and recreational cyclists of all abilities . While not strictly competitive, these rides are timed to ensure cyclists complete the entire course and provide some scoring for quick completion of unique sections of the route.

There are three gran fondos scheduled for Colorado next year. Boulder, Vail and Steamboat are the three locations. I have looked at the routes for the three events and they all look like amazing.

There is even a GranFondoUSA.com website. Are gran fondos the next big thing in cycling? It looks like they may become the equivalent to a marathon for runners.

*** Updated ***

One of our readers let us know there is a gran fondo starting in Lyons in July. They do not call it a gran fondo but centurion cycling. From their site:

Centurion Cycling is North America’s most exciting, new bike adventure. It’s based on the European concept of gran fondos but with a distinctive twist unique to this side of the Atlantic.

In Europe, you can ride a gran fondo almost every weekend from March through September. They come in all shapes and sizes and attract riders of all abilities. Often, they are named for celebrated cyclists such as Gran Fondo Eddy Merckx, in Belgium, or for famous courses like the Nove Colli, or “nine hills”, in Italy.

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20 Comments

I will beleive this when I

I will beleive this when I see it. It would appear this guy has put a lot effort into marketing, his web site, and nice maps. I highly doubt any of this is actually permitted with the State Patrol. Dear god, he is going to run the same course 2 days in a row? I am sure that will go over like a fart in church wiht the police and locals. Did you check out the entry fees and prize lists?

Word is Len Pettyjohn has a Grand Fando scheduled for Boulder summer 2010. If Len is involved, that event is much more likely to happen.

Is $$ but...

$250 is high and could very well keep me from racing it HOWEVER make most of the crits even just a $1 and it won't drive me to do those again. Not so much bashing crits but for those who are tired of that kind of racing sounds like these Grand Fondo could add something new. Now Grand Fondo on gravel... heaven but I digress... I see no reason to shoot down this type of event, let the riders vote with their wallets and see how many show up. I'm sure folks said the same thing about cx 10 years ago...

Once you are dropped out of

Once you are dropped out of the rolling enclosure, you are back to OPEN major roads.
If they pull off a $10K payout, some good pros will show up and light it up on the first climb. No way they want to stick around with a bunch of cat. 3s and 4s on the decents. Imagine going down through Ward with a bunch of amauters at 50+ MPH during a snow storm.

Gran Fondo = Time Century

Gran Fondo = Time Century Ride ???
We have a bunch of good century rides already established + a bike computer to time it = Gran Fondo

My race budget for a year is $500. So I like crits and road races that are affordable. I don't want to race against citizens or pros...

Kent Eriksen has been doing

Kent Eriksen has been doing this for the past 10+ years in Steamboat, the last 5 being less of a race and more of a fun ride for Sunshine Kids. It would appear they have copied Kent's ride, also know in Steamboat as the Gore Gruel as it is the exact route. Does adding big cash prizes and vehicle support for the lead riders make this ride significantly different? And wasn't there a big race for vail on the schedule last year along with a grand fondo planned for Boulder last fall? different group? More power to them if they can do it right and do it well.

If you start publishing course maps, schedules, big prize lists and open registration before you are even permitted with local officials or have local sponsors, people are going to be skeptical.

That's right Len P is God

That's right Len P is God and Chris G is Jesus. Ciclosportivo has no place in the sport so let's bash them and the events before they have even come to market. Tell everyone you know about Ciclosportivo events, they look great and I plan to participate in all. Supercorsa odds better than lotto.

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