Hardcore Cyclists conquer the Northeast’s Toughest Gran Fondo
The Vermont Gran Fondo has a reputation for being challenging, incredibly breathtaking, part of its continued love affair with cyclists
Riders from all over the USA, Canada and further afield made their way to Vermont to experience a challenging and breath-taking day out in the Green Mountains!
Vermont’s Premier road ride has a reputation for being “tough” and rightly so, each year the route changes but includes climbing up to 4 major climbs or “Gaps” as they are fondly known as.
From its inception, the ride has always had a special emphasis on rider experience. Everyone benefited from fully stocked rest stops and toilets, approximately every 20 miles which included water, Hammer Nutrition, yummy fresh food, and backed up with first aid supplies.
Out on the road, riders benefited from Full Moto support, Mechanical and “SAG” support vans and full road signage.
Event director Todd Warnock and his team did an incredible job, this year they “doubled up” on liquids due in case of very warm weather.
All 3 routes include stretches of iconic Vermont dirt roads which are hard packed and easily traversed on road bikes.
The final routes change every year, this year there was no let up with a double ascent of Appalachian Gap with Lincoln Gap to separate them for the Gran Route.
As well as the Gran Route there was the 77 mile Medio Facile Fondo , the 66 mile Medio Difficile Fondo and the 37 mile Piccolo Fondo for all abilities.
The eastern slope of Appalachian Gap, had a 24% maximum grade and an 8% average and brutal "Steepest Paved Mile in the US", the Lincoln Gap was once again the Gap Challenge with KOM/QOM with trophies going to the top three fastest climbers in the men's and women's groups in the Gran category.
The Gran Route shaped up to be one of the hardest one day rides in the U.S. with 10,000 feet of climbing over 100 miles.
In the KOM/QOM challenge on the Gran Route, it was Ian Boswell from Vermont who was fastest in a time of 10m 48s ahead of Rich Bounds from Vermont and Frederic Boivin from Quebec. For the women, Brigitte Sims from NY was fastest in a time of 17m 49s ahead of Sarah Crane from New Hampshire and Courtney Dalke from Connecticut.
In the Medio Difficule, it was Andrew Pike from Vermont who was fastest ahead of Nathanael Seiler from Massachusetts and Rich Wurster from New Hampshire. For the women, Elizabeth Townsend from Massachusetts was fastest in a time of 20m 39s ahead of Sarah Disalle from Ohio and Molly Robinson from Vermont.
Overall, Rich Bounds from Vermont was the fastest on the Gran route in a time 6h 47m 38s ahead of Fredric Boivin from Quebec and KOM winner Ian Boswell. For the women, Brigette Sims from New York was fastest in a time of 7h 39m 30s ahead of Sarah Crane from new Hampshire and Cheryl Kerpez from New Jersey.
In the Medio Difficule, overall it was Jean-Marc Venne from Quebec who was fastest in a time of 4h 18m 59s ahead of Ted Esselstyn from Connecticut and Bryan Salatino from Vermont. For the women it was Adrielle Houweling from Quebec who was fastest in a time of 4h 31m 54s ahead of Carrie McCarker from Maine and Elizabeth Townsend from Massachusetts.
In the Medio Facile, Jonathon Perry from Philadelphia was fastest in a time of 5h 58s ahead of Brendon Chamberlain from Vermont and Steve Boluc from Quebec. For the women, Laurie Durivage from Vermont was fastest in a time of 5h 50m 1s ahead of Joan Scibettea from New York and Vanneth Ngan from Quebec.
In the Piccolo Fondo, Rodney Crosby from New York was fastest in a time of 2h 42m 9s ahead of Hisham Tayeby from Vermont and Len Giambalvo from New York. For the women, Erin Mandeley from New York was fastest in a time of 2h 39m 54s ahead of Katja Fox from New Hampshire and Jennifer Butler from Massachusetts.
Jon Nelson commented afterwards “The full Gran Fondo is incredibly hard, but a great challenge where you earn the beautiful views. The stops were well stocked with good variety. I was especially impressed with the motorcycle mechanical support.”
Afterwards everyone was able to relax at the Après ride at the Bristol Recreation Club in the massive party tent, where everyone enjoyed live music, local fresh food and locally-produced beverages and farm-to-spoon ice cream.
The Vermont Gran Fondo is a ”must do” bucket list ride, its just one of those rides that any self-respecting cyclist should tick off their list.
The ride is so iconic, Outside Magazine named the Vermont Gran Fondo one of the 25 Best Bike Rides in the World.
Link to full results: https://my3.raceresult.com/130551
For more information, please visit: http://www.vermontgranfondo.com