GFNS Golden Gran Fondo Timed Sections
The Golden Gran Fondo, one of the toughest one day Gran Fondo's in America with around 10,000 feet of climbing through Colorado's Rocky Mountains. With up to four timed climbs, cyclists can compete for a range of prizes. Experience the Coors Classic and American Flyers - all in one day!
With up to four timed sections, cyclists can compete for a range of prizes. Experience the Coors Classic and American Flyers - all in one day!
The Golden Gran Fondo in Colorado will take riders on an unforgettable journey through the Rocky Mountains.
It starts by tracing the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge towards continental divide. It features some of the same roads used in the Coors Classic and featured in the movie American Flyers (Kevin Costner’s classic cycling film that was set in the town of Golden).
Upon reaching the scenic Peak to Peak Highway, racers will be treated to high alpine vistas, lung busting ascents, a taste of hard pack dirt road, and a total of 10,000 feet of climbing before returning to downtown Golden where riders can replenish their exhausted bodies but full souls. This course is sure to test your climbing prowess while treating you to some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes anywhere.
Fear not - there’s a Medio Fondo of 53 miles and a Piccolo Fondo of just over 18 miles for all levels of fitness for riders to enjoy!
Lookout Mountain - YES IT’S BACK!
Golden’s Iconic climb is back for the 2017 edition of the Golden Gran Fondo.
This is a four and a half mile climb with nearly 1,200 feet of climbing that hairpins past Mount Zion and Windy park Saddle and is a brute of a climb, which starts as you leave Golden.
Surprise, surprise, it's Phil Gaimon, star of the series Worst Retirement Ever that holds the KOM set in June this year in a time of 16m 16 secs.
For the ladies, it's Anne Toth who rides for Groove Subaru Excel Sports from Golden who holds the QOM in a time of 19m 57 secs, she set this time on the Mines Time Trial in March last year.
After the iconic Lookout climb, the route loops back through the city of Golden, dropping off the 20 mile Piccolo riders and then continuing on to Golden Gate Canyon for around 11 miles of climbing, past Mt Galbraith Park, Guy Hill and Mount Tom. You’ll climb over 3,000 feet on this stretch of road to the 2nd timed climb of Mountain Base Road, so make sure you pace yourself!
Remember to take time to eat and drink at the aid stations and stock up as it’s a big day in the saddle!
Mountain Base Road
Just after the first feed station, turning onto Mountain Base Road, the 2nd timed climb begins. It’s a 3.1 mile climb with 875 feet of climbing, which makes for an elusive average gradient of 5.8% since the first mile is relatively flat. The road kicks up to nearly 20% in the middle and is rated as a Haute Category 3 climb as used in the Grand Tours.
Professional cyclist Peter Stetina from Santa Rosa, CA who races for Trek-Segafredo holds the KOM. He’s currently prepping for the inaugural Colorado Classic stage race that will traverse some of these same roads! He's closely followed by Craig Lewis Champion System Pro Cycling Team and Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing. These boys have produced VAM's of over 1,200 metres per hour and 350 watt averages up these climbs in Pro races.
Evelyn Stevens from San Francisco, who rides for Boels Dolmans Cycling Team holds the QOM.
There’s a great respite after all that climbing, its downhill for around 13 miles so enjoy it!
Heading north onto the Peak to Peak Highway through Rollinsville, past Los Lagos Reservoir before turning east onto Coal Creek Canyon.
Make sure you use the descents to hydrate and eat to replenish your energy stores, there’s still lots of climbing to do.
After the quaint town of Pinecliffe the road kicks up to around 6%. Enjoy the uphill switchbacks to the 3rd feed station at Wondervu Café after 43 miles. You’re just over halfway on the Gran Fondo route.
After the 3rd feed, it’s just under 4 miles of downhill towards Denver, before turning sharp right onto Twin Spruce Road, savour it - cause here comes the 3rd timed climb.
Twin Spruce is 4.7 miles long and climbs 1,368 feet. That’s 5.5% average gradient with a section of 12.2%. The pro peloton will tackle this same climb 2-weeks prior to the fondo in the Colorado Classic.
LeRoy Popowski from Juwi Cycling Team is the current KOM record holder. and the QOM record holder is Adelaide Perr from Denver, CO.
You’ll find yourself on the wooded climb of Gap Road with Tremont Mountain on your left, the last 3 miles of Gap Road is hard packed dirt!
Back onto the Peak to Peak Highway for 3 miles on rolling terrain, before turning east towards Golden Gate Canyon Park. The good news is its 9 miles downhill to the last timed climb, having cycled 69 miles.
Again make sure you use the descents to hydrate and eat - to replenish your energy stores. Take time to eat and drink at the aid stations and stock up.
The final climb for Gran Fondo riders, and it is a doozy! By now your legs will screaming for you to stop. It’s time to grit your teeth and show your true metal!
The longest climb awaits and its 5.3 miles on broken pavement, with a sustained straight steep pitch just before the initial summit. When you reach this first crest it’s not over – you’ll enjoy a dreamy smooth pavement descent before the final kick up the last 150 feet.
Chris Case from Niwot, Colorado who races for EVOL Racing DevoElite Team is the KOM holder.
The QOM is held by Alison Powers from Nederland, Colorado. She is a Cycling coach for ALP Cycles Coaching and national championship wins history maker!
It's all Downhill!
Congratulations! Its 7 miles downhill straight to Golden for food and beer!
You’ve made it! After 81 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing making the Golden Gran Fondo one of the hardest Gran Fondo’s in America!
The Medio Fondo contains the timed climbs of Lookout Mountain and Mountain Base Road and the Piccolo, Lookout Mountain and they provide 2 and 1 aid stations respectively.
VIDEO: 2016 Golden Gran Fondo
There are fully stocked aid/feed stations on all the routes to keep you fed and hydrated. A goody bag, water bottle and other various swag items included.
A finishers Medal for completing the Gran Fondo route, awards for age placement, a raffle and of course the chance to win cash and prizes for placement in the overall timed climbs.
The shortest overall combined timed of the sections allows you to compete for:
Custom Winners Jerseys Gran Route age group winners.
Cash for overall top three male and female racers:
1st overall $250
2nd overall $150
3rd overall $100
Age Group Prizes and awards
Fastest Four person team - $500