GFNS Gran Fondo Asheville Timed Sections
Asheville, North Carolina is, nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains and Pisgah National Forest, the area is perfect for cycling and contains some of the best roads on the Eastern seaboard of the USA
For amateur cyclists, a Gran Fondo is the best way to challenge yourself, experience an amazing day’s cycling and presents the opportunity to wins cash and prizes too. Cyclists who haven’t ridden a Gran Fondo really are missing out on an amazing experience. Shhhhh! Don’t tell everyone!
The Asheville event is the 4th event of the very popular and growing Giordana Gran Fondo National Championship series. The event benefits the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Gran Fondo Asheville has 3 routes to suit all abilities with distances of 30, 60 and 100 miles. Each of the 3 routes have timed sections for riders to compete for prizes and awards for their chosen distance and age category as well as a very popular team award.
For the 30 mile Piccolo route there is one timed section, the 60 Medio mile route has two sections and the 100 mile Gran route has four sections. Unlike a traditional race, riders compete by riding the timed sections and the shortest time combined across the sections for each of the categories (team, age, male and female) have the chance to win awards and prizes for the top 3 podium places. A racing license isn’t required.
The prizes and awards on offer include cash, winner’s jerseys and a whole host of top swag! It really is your chance to challenge yourself and win something really cool like:
Custom “Race Winner” jerseys for all Gran Route age group winners
Cash Purse and Prizes for Gran Route winners
Awards and Prizes for Medio and Piccolo winners
While riders have the opportunity to pace themselves and enjoy the view, professional or competitive cyclists can "show their strength" at every section. When you’re outside those timed sections, you have an opportunity to look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery, relax, stop at aid stations and regroup with friends. The fully stocked aid stations and SAG support will keep you going and the Post-Race Food & Beverage for a fun recovery.
Your ride begins in the River Arts District at New Belgium Brewing Company and quickly moves along well-marked winding roads out into pastoral countryside and up to mountain ridge vistas. At the end of the ride, as you descend from the Blue Ridge Parkway into the heart of town, you will be afforded a spectacular cityscape view and greeted by fellow riders and families back at New Belgium Brewing Company; where you can enjoy the music, vendors, massage therapists, and of course– food and beer!
T1 - Bear Creek
This timed section is part of the Piccolo, Medio and Gran. Its 3.5 miles with 225 feet of climbing, two distinct climbs feature.
T2 - Walnut Creek
This timed section is part of the Gran only. Its 6.1 miles with 1,015 feet of climbing and is considered a category 2 rated climb, a real test for the Gran Fondo riders.
T3 - French Broad River
This timed section is part of the Medio and Gran only. Its 7.2 miles with 374 feet of climbing which is a shallow grade upwards of around 1%.
T4 - Elk Mountain Scenic Hwy
This timed section is part of the Gran only. Its 6.1 miles with 1,471 feet of climbing at an average of 5% and is considered a category 2 rated climb, another real test for Gran Fondo riders.
Not sure which route to ride, or just want to start the party early? 12 miles from the finish, there is an alternate route back to the finish line that bypasses the final climb up Elk Mountain Scenic Hwy. Although you won’t quality for timing sections, you can still win great door prizes during the awards celebration.