Gran Fondo Florida kicks off the expanding U.S. Gran Fondo National Series
Up to four timed sections on three Fondos and the addition of a NEW 21 mile time trial course, with prizes and awards for both teams and individuals across a range of categories - who says Florida is flat?
Centered in the rolling orange groves of Pasco and Hernando County, north of Tampa, the Gran Fondo Florida, taking place March 24 - 25, 2018, travels along rural rolling hills, orange groves, past horse farms and crystal clear springs.
In partnership with Haute Route, a NEW time trial option on Saturday includes a ramp start and 2 timed sections along the 21 mile course.
On Sunday, there are 3 distances on offer; the 36 mile Piccolo Fondo, the 55 mile Medio Fondo and the 96 mile Gran Fondo to suit all abilities and early season form, or lack of it.
Get ready to burn that Xmas turkey!
Starting in San Antonio, the route heads north through the rolling orange groves. The first part of the route is undulating and contains some climbing. Continuing north, through Spring Lake, the first timed section starts after 16.5 miles.
T-1 Mondon Hill
The first timed section is 3.1 miles long and contains just over 100 feet of climbing at Munden Hill before descending down and sweep left towards Conrock.
Ken Vida, from Lithia, Florida who rides for Team Outspoken challenge, holds the fastest time of 6 min 15 secs, an average speed of over 30 mph.
Jan Burger from Valrico, Florida holds the fastest time of 7m 00 secs set at the 2017 Gran Fondo Florida.
The welcoming first feed station rewards for your efforts after the first section at the 20 mile mark. The route continues north through Istachatta and reaches its most northern point at Bradley lake after 35 miles and turns west.
The second feed station arrives at this point after 37 miles. There’s 5 miles warmup before the second timed section.
T-2 Stage Coach Trail
At just over 5 miles long the second timed section is fairly flat and fast. You should be in top gear here giving it some.
Castor Troy holds the current fastest time of 9 mins 35 secs at an average of 33.0 mph, set at the 2015 Gran Fondo Florida.
Sharon Winnett holds the current fastest time of 11m 11 secs, set at the 2014 Gran Fondo Florida. Sharon rode the 100 miles Gran Fondo course in a time of 4h 44 mins that year.
The route turns south briefly going through Withlacoochee State Forest and the hills surrounding Brooksville. You’ll reach a well-earned rest at the third feed station at 84 miles. Heading west.
T-3 Batten Road
Time sections #3 is nearly 3 miles long and is basically one big roller. Starting out with a slightly negative grade, loosing 94ft of elevation over the 1st 1.5 miles, then turning lightly uphill regaining the elevation loss and finishing with hard effort at the top of a 1.5 mile push to gain 120 ft of elevation. You will feel relief only after passing the flags at the end of the time section.
Castor Troy holds the current fastest time of 5 mins 37 secs and an average speed of 31.6 mph,set at the 2015 Gran Fondo Florida.
Local rider Jan Burger, from Valrico, Florida who rides for Jabil WCC holds the fastest time of 6m 28 secs, set on the 2017 Gran Fondo Florida.
The ride keeps heading south past springs and lakes and arrives at the final feed station after another 12 miles, having done 84 miles in total. It’s your last chance to fuel up for that last times section that arrives 5 miles later.
T-4 Darby Road
At nearly 5 miles in length and finishing with a 100ft elevation gain, Time Section #4 marks a piece of US cycling history, once home to the famous Darby Road Race that has seen the likes of Tour De France winner Laurent Fignon. This is the last opportunity to put time on your competition, be sure to safe some fuel for it!
Kramp Krushington set another fastest time of 10m 11 secs at the 2017 Gran Fondo Florida and so did Casey Arnold for the ladies in a time of 11m 47 secs, at the 2016 Gran Fondo Florida.
After that, it’s a mile and a half warm down to finish after 100 miles.
Although the course isn’t flat it will suit those who love speed and time trialling. Without huge hills, the routes are also great for beginners and those whose form is a little lacking at the start of the season as too.
Gran Fondo GPS Route
They expect quite a few sub 4 hour rides on the Gran Fondo.
Gran Fondo Route ridewithgps.com/
Gran Fondo Route strava.com/segments/6850713
All 4 segments count for Gran route, Sections T-1, T-3 count for Medio route and only section T-3 counts for Piccolo riders
For the Gran Fondo Route there is the team prize. *Four or more riders to qualify.
Team riders are still eligible for individual awards.
Best Combined Time Wins on each route for age groups
Custom “Race Winner” jerseys for all Gran Route age group winners
Awards and prizes for Gran, Medio, and Piccolo Routes.
Fully stocked feed stations, with Hammer Nutrition to keep you performing your best, as well as Lots of SAG support.
Post Race Food & Beverage for a fun recovery.
This event raises funds for Pasco County SRO Explorer Program. The School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit is composed of two squads that provide law enforcement services to schools countywide. The SRO Explorer Program provides services for those aged 14-21.