What is a Gran Fondo?
What Is a Gran Fondo?
Gran Fondo's are mass participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and are beginning to gain momentum in North America and beyond.
Gran Fondo means many things to many people. Loosely translated, it means everything from "great foundation", “great distance” or “great endurance.” It can be a full-on race, or just a ride. It’s both a sporting event and a cultural experience. And it’s truly Italian. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
Gran Fondo's were invented in Italy in the early 1900's and have been part of Italian cycling culture and tradition for over 100 years.
Gran Fondos are often named after famous cyclists of the past, or after companies with a long heritage in cycling. Some of the most famous Gran Fondo's include the Prosecco Cycling Classic, the Novi Colli and the Felice Gimondi.
Take a scenic, mountainous course and add several thousand cyclists ranging from pros to eighty-year-old cycle tourists. Mix in roving and fixed mechanical and medical support, feed zones manned by cheerful volunteers serving up sandwiches, fruit, and drinks, and traffic halted at intersections to let you pass. Garnish with enthusiastic and supportive spectators lining the course. Top it off with coverage by major cycling magazines. Energy, excitement, atmosphere!-- this is gran fondo, a phenomenon that took Italy by storm.
Just like in Italy, every Gran Fondo event includes challenging routes, electronic timing, fantastic giveaways, a consumer expo, well-stocked aid stations, mobile tech support and a fun post-race party.
Some of the larger events, as in Italy, have completely closed roads, for example, the Gran Fondo New York. Standards vary, so we aim to give a clear and concise guide from 2014 onwards, for each event, so riders know what to expect or in some cases, demand! This doesn't detract from the smaller events, it's all about knowing what your'e getting for your money.
In 2009 there were a handful of events, now in 2014 there are expected to be well over 125 events in North America alone and the scene is growing very quickly.
We aim to make you aware of all the events, news and results in one central hub for the North America, Europe and beyond in, english.
You never know - one day you might find yourself in the Italian Dolomites riding a Gran Fondo with 10,000 feet of climbing with thousands of cyclists from all over the world? Or - travelling across to the West coast to try out the Sierra Nevada mountains, or the east coast Allegheny mountains. What about the Rocky mountains?
Turn a dream into a reality and let Gran Fondo Guide help you along the way ...
One thing is for sure - cycling is part of the future in a big way on a global scale.
The start of the 2013 Giro d'Italia Los Angeles-Pasadena - some 1,000 cyclists took part from all over California and from abroad