GFNY plans it's expansion into North America for 2018
GFNY plans a new Gran Fondo in Santa Fe next summer 2018
The city of Santa Fe is looking into hosting a long-distance competitive bicycle race by sponsoring what would be called the GFNY Santa Fe, a preliminary race for the Gran Fondo New York — a 100-mile road race that also serves as the race series’ championship.
This week, the city’s Public Works and Land Use Committee voted 4-0 to support a resolution that would pave the way for Tourism Santa Fe to enter into franchise agreement with Gran Fondo New York, which has staged its flagship race from New York City to Bear Mountain and back since 2010.
"Yes, we're looking at other US American destinations. We continuously get inquiries. It just has to be the right fit," he explained.
The event could include the Ski Santa Fe climb, 14 miles and some 3,300 feet of climbing and finishing above 10,000 feet, it's as tough as any Pro Tour HC climb. It features 'The Wall' halfway up the climb, a section of two miles at 10%.
The Santa Fe race would be expected to lose money the first year but become financially self-sufficient by the third year through entry fees, retail sales and sponsorships, according to Tourism Santa Fe Executive Director Randy Randall.
Randall said the race is expected to draw about 750 cyclists the first year, nearly a third of them from out of the country.
Randall said the proposed route of GFNY Santa Fe would start and finish at Fort Marcy Park, and take cyclists up to the ski area and along U.S. 285 toward Pojoaque.
“It’s the climb that makes this one more interesting,” he said, differentiating it from others held around the world.
"There are about 15 other Gran Fondo New York preliminary races in France, Germany, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, but, aside from the one in New York, the Santa Fe race would be the first one affiliated with the held in the United States" Randall stated in a press release.
The races may attract professional riders, but others participate to compete in categories based on age and gender, or just to challenge themselves against the clock.
City councilor Joseph Maestas, who heads the city’s Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee, said that committee supports the idea of bringing the race to Santa Fe, and that organizers of the Santa Fe Century bike race didn’t consider it a conflict with their event.
Gran Fondo is a race format that originated in Italy in 1970 and are typically chip-timed races of 75 miles or more held whenever possible on closed courses away from vehicle traffic. Prizes are awarded to top placers each category, and in the tradition of Gran Fondos, a feast is held after the race.
Santa Fe already has at least two Gran Fondo events, one during the Santa Fe Century and another during the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Festival.
The proposal will next be heard by the Finance Committee on Monday. It is scheduled to come before the full City Council for consideration Nov. 8.