Performance steel and aluminum frames handmade in America
Welcome to Gran Fondo USA >> Levis GranFondo

7,000 cyclists brave heat for Levis GranFondo

With temperatures approaching 100 degrees, some 7,000 cyclists took to Sonoma County roads Saturday for Levi’s GranFondo, the popular 103-mile cycling event that features some of the county’s most challenging and scenic roads.

The hot weather brought additional challenges to riders, organizers said Saturday. Just before the start of the ride at 8 a.m., event organizer Carlos Perez warned riders that “it’s going to be one of the hottest days of the year.”

Perez, the founder of Bike Monkey, the event management company that produces the GranFondo, said riders should seriously consider choosing a shorter route if they were adversely affected by the heat.

Cyclists were allowed to choose one of three rides, the 32-mile piccolo, a 65-mile medio and the gran route that travels along 103 miles and climbs more than 9,000 feet. The gran route features the King Ridge Road climb.

Two North Bay cyclists were among the top finishers: Alison Tetrick of Mill Valley had the fastest time for women on the all-pavement version of the gran route. Some cyclists chose a slightly shorter version of the gran route that included a section on dirt. On that course, Santa Rosa resident Brian Finnerty finished first for men.

GranFondo spokesman Greg Fisher said after the race was over that the heat did not seem to cause many more riders than usual to suffer injuries or drop out.

“We were surprised,” he said. “The coast may have moderated it enough.”

Eleven people were taken to local hospitals, with three suffering injuries serious enough they required a helicopter lift or code 3 ambulance, the county’s emergency dispatch service said.

Fisher did not know the exact nature of the injuries but said he expected everyone to be discharged from the hospital by Sunday afternoon.

The ride, named after retired pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa, last year pumped about $3.15 million into the local economy and raised about $277,000 for local nonprofits, including its primary beneficiary Forget Me Not Farm, a working farm for at-risk children and abandoned animals.

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, on hand Saturday morning to kick off the ride, said the event has become a community asset. Thompson said that beyond the economic boost and the money raised for local nonprofits, the GranFondo showcases the importance of exercise at a time when so many young people struggle with obesity.

Aside from Leipheimer, celebrity participants included former baseball star Barry Bonds; Kristin Armstrong, professional road bicycle racer and two-time Olympic gold medalist; Lucas Euser, a member of the UnitedHealthcare pro-cycling team; Max Plaxton, Canadian cross-country mountain biker; and Alison Tetrick, a world class cyclist who races for the Astana BePink team.

Fisher said big changes are planned for next year’s race. The event has been held for the past six years.

“This is the last year that we rest on the original formula,” he said.

Fisher said organizers are trying to retool the ride to create an enduring and “fresh” event that will be known for more than the King Ridge challenge. That might include changing the route and adding more days to the event.

“We want to provide a harder route for people who want a challenge,” Fisher said.

Link to official results -

7,000 cyclists brave heat for Levis GranFondo

Tag: levi
Jul 20 2017 - NEWS: Specialized Bicycles and Levi's Gran Fondo Join Forces to offer - U24 Ride FREE Program
Feb 07 2017 - NEWS: Top 15 U.S. Gran Fondos for 2017
May 13 2017 - NEWS: Ride Peter Stetina's New Sierra Prospect Gran Fondo
May 15 2017 - NEWS: Levi Leipheimer partners with the Oregon GranFondo
Feb 09 2017 - NEWS: Watch The Levi Effect Documentary
Jan 10 2017 - NEWS: Register now for America's Premier Gran Fondo and Save
Nov 24 2016 - NEWS: Levi's Gran Fondo Early Bird Rates End Jan 1st - Register Now
Oct 14 2016 - NEWS: “The Hammer Road Rally” Adventure Road Ride
Oct 01 2016 - NEWS: Over 5,000 Riders Tackle the 8th Annual Levis Gran Fondo in Sonoma County
Sep 19 2016 - NEWS: Join Jan Ullrich and Levi Leipheimer at the Clif Cykel Scramble
Aug 31 2016 - NEWS: Levis King Ridge Gran Fondo: Mammoth Panzer route open to everyone
Aug 19 2016 - NEWS: Pro Cyclist Alison Tetrick Starts King Ridge Connect Campaign to Help At-risk Youth
Aug 18 2016 - NEWS: Levis Core Challenge
Aug 10 2016 - NEWS: Levi’s Gran Fondo inspires the penultimate stage of the AMGEN Tour of California, this Saturday May 21
Jul 20 2015 - NEWS: Jan Ullrich, former Tour de France champion, set for Gran Fondo
Jan 02 2015 - NEWS: Registration opens Jan 12th for Levi's Gran Fondo
Oct 06 2014 - NEWS: 7,000 cyclists brave heat for Levi's GranFondo
Jun 20 2014 - NEWS: Levi's GranFondo: Behind The Curtain Online Mini-Documentary Launch
Jan 12 2014 - NEWS: 2014 Levi Gran Fondo Registration opens Monday 9am PST
Oct 06 2013 - NEWS: Over 5,000 Cyclists Took on Levis Gran Fondo
- NEWS: Riding Levi's Gran Fondo
Oct 06 2014 - RESULTS: Levis GranFondo
Oct 06 2013 - RESULTS: Levis Gran Fondo
Jun 11 2017 - EVENT: The Artie Levin Memorial Century
Sep 24 2017 - EVENT: Stetina's Sierra Prospect
Sep 30 2017 - EVENT: Levi Leipheimers King Ridge Gran Fondo
Oct 21 2017 - EVENT: The Hammer Road Rally