2016 Gran Fondo World Tour ® series celebrates final event with Alexander Vinokúrov on the start line at the Gran Fondo Kazakhstan-Zetsyu
The last round of the Gran Fondo World Tour ® series was the Golden Gran Fondo in Colorado, U.S., where Kip Taylor for the men and Angela des Cognets for the ladies won the overall event. The Gran Fondo Golden is part of the U.S. Gran Fondo National Championship Series (GFNCS).
The Gran Fondo Kazakhstan-Zetsyu on September 30th to October 1st is the final World Tour event of the 2016 series and the last chance for participants to be crowned the 2016 Gran Fondo World Tour ® series champions.
Ex-professional Alexander Vinokúrov will be on the start line with bib number #1.
The Gran Fondo features a total distance of 110 km and 30 km timed section in the Kapchigay Almaty region.
The Gran Fondo Kazakhstan-Zetsyu is the sixth and final event of the first year of the global Gran Fondo World Tour ® series. At each race all riders are allocated points based on their finish and champions will be crowned based on total points earned over the year. There is no championship event to which competitors have to travel.
Elisabeth Solberg and Knut Sande are currently leading the overall series ranking coming into the final event in Kazakhstan.
For last minute international participants, Gran Fondo World Tour ® and Kazakhstan Cycling Federation are offering FREE accommodation and registration to be on the start line.
Gran Fondo World Tour ® Series to Expand beyond 2016
Due to the success of the inaugural worldwide series, plans are in place for it to expand from 2017 onwards.
Gran Fondo World Tour ® Series CEO Dani Buyo said "the plan is for around 10 races in 2017, with expansion into Australia, Africa and South America. We are also considering a mountain bike series along the same lines".
Buyo has received enquiries from a number of events that are interested and is planning to expand the road based Gran Fondo series to around 12 events in 2018.
Organizers interested in applying to become a participating event in the Gran Fondo World Tour ® Series can contact CEO Dani Buyo at email@example.com
About Alexander Vinokúrov
Alexander Vinokourov is a Kazakh former professional road bicycle racer and current general manager of UCI ProTeam Astana. As a competitor, his achievements include two bronze medals at the World Championships, four stage wins in the Tour de France, four in the Vuelta a España plus the overall title in 2006, two Liège–Bastogne–Liège monuments, one Amstel Gold Race, and most recently, the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics Men's Road Race. Vinokourov is a past national champion of Kazakhstan, and a dual-medalist at the Summer Olympics.
Vinokourov began cycling in 1984 as an 11-year-old, competing within the former Soviet Union. He moved to France in 1997 to finish his amateur career, and then turned professional there in 1998. A serious crash during the 2011 Tour de France threatened to prematurely end Vinokourov's career for a second time, but he announced he would continue for one more season in 2012 – with an eye towards competing in the Olympic Games in London. There, Vinokourov played the role of ultimate spoiler when he dramatically won the gold medal in the men's road race after breaking-away in the closing miles with Colombian Rigoberto Urán.
Vinokourov retired after the Olympics and assumed management duties with Astana for 2013. He is an honorary colonel in the Kazakh army and lives in France with his wife and children.