King Of The Mountains Prizes At Stake With Second Vermont Gran Fondo
Fastest man, woman, up each of four gap climbs at June 13 event will win a custom jersey.
Addison County, Vermont – April 13, 2015—When it returns for an encore on June 13, the Vermont Gran Fondo, the Green Mountain State’s own quadruple-gap century bike ride, will offer participants a new challenge: a custom-made “King of the Mountains” jersey for the fastest male and female riders up each of the four main climbs on the route.
Most cyclists choose to ride the Gran route: ascents of the Lincoln, Appalachian, Middlebury and Brandon gaps, the circuit of climbs known among locals as “the LAMB,” where both the views and climbs can be counted on to take your breath away.
Riders who wish to participate in the KOM jersey competition may do so on the day of the ride by using their Garmin or smartphone to upload their climb times to Strava, the app that uses GPS technology to log a cyclist’s result.
“The gran fondo vibe is more about participation than competition, and we won’t change that at all,” said event director Sue Hoxie. “But we did get feedback from some of last year’s riders that they wouldn’t mind a little incentive element. The KOM jerseys make for a fun payoff that people can choose to go for, or not, at their discretion.”
A total of eight jerseys will be up for grabs. The jersey, designed by Todd Warnock of Lincoln, Vt.-based communications firm and Vermont Gran Fondo founding sponsor bMighty2, features a stylized version of a map of the route that beguiled the 180 riders who took part in the first edition a year ago.
Once again, the Gran route will ascend 10,600 feet over 103 miles. The eastern slope of Lincoln Gap features a 24% grade, making it what’s reputed to be the steepest one-mile stretch of paved road in the country.
Two additional routes—loops designated as Medio and Piccolo—will be marked for riders who would prefer to tackle two gaps rather than four. The Medio will cover 69 miles, with 7,300 feet of climbing over the Appalachian and Lincoln gaps, while the Piccolo will ascend 4,100 feet over the Brandon and Middlebury gaps to cover 44 miles.
Afterward, all riders will be treated to a celebration at Lincoln Peak Vineyard in New Haven, Vt., where the “Peak Fondo” vibe will include food, drink, music and international camaraderie. Admission to the après ride party is free with registration; cost to friends, family members and supporters is $10 each.
Tour de France veteran and Cannondale Garmin rider Ted King fell in love with cycling as an undergraduate at Middlebury College, and the Vermont Gran Fondo features the very roads, gaps and scenery that left him smitten.
“The riding in the heart of the Green Mountains is some of the most amazing you’ll find anywhere on the planet,” said King. “The spectacular sinuous roads, the iconic New England scenery, the rolling hills with just the right mix of pavement and dirt, as well as the notorious gap climbs—they all leave me pining for Vermont when I’m riding the world over.”
Added Jessie Donavan, the professional triathlete from Shelburne, Vt., who has won Lake Placid, South Africa and Mont Tremblant Ironman titles and joined the Vermont Gran Fondo peloton last year: “The Vermont Gran Fondo is one of the most challenging and well-run events I’ve been a part of. Riding all four Vermont gaps in one day should be on every cyclist’s and triathlete’s bucket list.”
With Yankee magazine having annouced cycling in Addison County as tops in New England region, and the LAMB delivering what Bicycling magazine calls the state’s “Best Bike Ride,” the Vermont Gran Fondo supplies participants with the very best of the best. No wonder Outside magazine touted the event as “a full-blown party.”
“Riding the Medio route last year was everything I hoped it would be—great people, spectacular scenery and punishing hills,” said Steve McKibben, a recreational rider from Lakeville, Conn. “There was a real sense of camaraderie. I’m looking forward to coming back to ride the Gran.”
There is a modest fee to ride in the Vermont Gran Fondo of $100 for Gran and Medio riders and $75 for Piccolo riders. Rates increase by $25 on June 1st. All three routes are supported by mechanics from local bike shops and bicycle-touring companies. There are also multiple rest stops en route, fully stocked with thirst-quenching and protein-packed foods and liquids. With their entry fee, riders also receive professional ride-day photography; a handsomely designed T-shirt; and entry to the après ride party at Lincoln Peak Vineyard. Ride jerseys and shorts may be purchased at additional cost.
For more information and to register, go to www.VermontGranFondo.com.
The Vermont Gran Fondo wouldn’t be possible without founding sponsors VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, bMighty2 and the Addison Independent; and event sponsors Better Middlebury Partnership, Discovery Bicycle Tours, Middlebury Fitness , Vermont Hard Cider Company and the Addison County Chamber of Commerce. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
About the Vermont Gran Fondo Organizers
The Vermont Gran Fondo is produced by Cycle Addison County, Inc., an organization chartered to support cycling in the region through programming, education, infrastructure and equipment. Its members include cycling enthusiasts and athletically inclined tourism and business development representatives.
For more information go to www.VermontGranFondo.com.