The Gran Fondo World Tour bets on Women's Cycling
We speak with Dani Buyo, CEO of the Gran Fondo World Tour, who reports on the current situation of the growing International cycling series, as well as its new ideas for the coming years. Support for women's cycling and the new destinations that will be key to consolidate its expansion in the future
- This year is the Gran Fondo World Tour's third anniversary. What is the balance of these three first seasons of the circuit?
- When we started we wanted to have intercontinental presence. In the first year we had six events on three continents and now we have eleven events on four continents. This exceeds our entry expectations, so we are pretty much satisfied. In addition, we are also very happy because we have consolidated various destinations, which is important for us.
- Did you expect a similar growth when you launched it in 2016?
- Our goal, rather than just growing, was to maintain a clear philosophy that would identify us: to respect the identity and the name of each of the events that take part of the GFWT and help them to grow internationally. We are proud to start from nothing and be in almost the entire world now.
- What makes the Gran Fondo World Tour different from other amateur cycling circuits?
- A key factor is that we are much more flexible than other circuits in aspects such as the name of the events and their sponsors, which we respect and maintain, as well as other important factors, such as the requirements to be part of the GFWT and the regulations. We do not want to control the events, but be their partner and help them to progress without losing their essence.
- How has the association with great events such as Sea Otter Europe benefited the GFWT?
- To be in events as important as this festival, for example, gives us more visibility and allows us to have a greater presence inside a sector such as the cycling one, which is growing a lot in the recent years, especially on the road. In this sense, we would like to thank Ocisport and Albert Balcells for their collaboration and their excellent work.
- What has changed since SAETDE acquired the international license of the GFWT almost a year ago?
- It has undoubtedly allowed us to accelerate our growth. Initially, our expansion plan was for 5-7 years, when we wanted to reach the five continents. Now, we can assure that this will happen in the next three seasons. In this period we also want to get more venues, a maximum of 17 or 18, we do not want an uncontrolled growth because we like to personally know our partners and guarantee the right conditions and services. Finally, we also want to reach a larger mass of cyclists. We have currently around 30,000 participants in all the 2018 events and we aim to reach 100,000 to strengthen our brand and identity.
- Do you think that there has been a gran fondo boom in the recent years?
- I think there has been a parallel growth to what sport and outdoor is living in general. This benefits all of us, but it is clear that there is a certain oversize and that it will be difficult to survive for some companies and events, as it happens in all the markets. Well organized events that take care of the participants will continue because the services are the big difference, even more important than the price.
- This 2018 the GFWT has eleven events, almost twice than in its first edition. What criteria do you follow to include or not an event in the circuit?
- New events contact us every week, but we always value several aspects before incorporating them. For example, the geographic location, since it has to be an attractive destination and we do not want to have more than one event in each country except in the large ones such as the United States. We visit them previously and, if they are new, we help them to start.
- What are the main novelties that the GFWT has prepared for 2019?
- We will make a strong landing in Asia next year with new events such as one in Sri Lanka, which we will help in its first year, and another existing one in Thailand. At the same time, in the next two or three years we want to arrive to the five continents and we are already working with organizers from Australia. We will also reach more destinations such as South America -Colombia specifically- and Central America, where we are getting in touch with some events in Mexico. In Europe, we are talking to strong organizers in Italy to incorporate an important gran fondo from this country again that is an international reference.
- Support for women's cycling will be another of your main initiatives this coming season.
- Female audience is essential. It is a growing market and equality is very important for us. In addition to establishing this year a money prize of $ 36,000 to equally distribute between men and women, next season we want to launch the Gran Fondo World Championship Ladies Edition, which this 2018 has had a previous event in the Styrkeprøven of Norway. They will be parallel events to those of the GFWT where there will be an own departure for women, their own route and exclusive services for them.
- Are women the public to conquer in the future in order to keep growing?
- Yes. Although they still represent a low percentage of participants, their growth is higher than the men’s one. It also favours male audience loyalty while increasing the feminine cyclists. With our support for women's cycling, we intend to have more plurality in sport, as well as a greater equality and equity. In addition, if we manage to organize more familiar events, we will go beyond the barriers of sport to become entertainment too.
- How do you see the Gran Fondo World Tour in a few years?
- We would like to be an international circuit with presence on the five continents, having between 15 and 18 important events in attractive destinations and with a quality organization level in order to encourage fans to choose us when they plan their cycling trips. That is our goal and I am sure we will achieve it.
Complete Calendar : www.granfondoworldtour.com
About Gran Fondo World Tour ®
Gran Fondo World Tour ® is the first Cyclosportive / Gran Fondo world series for amateurs and passionate cyclists, a worldwide circuit for the non-professional cyclist.
Opportunity to join qualifyling events in different continents, cycling up the Galibier - Madeleine, Top climbs in “Dolomites”, riding Central Asia Step, South African Natal Zulu Region hills, California coast, Korean mountains, Spanish Sun and Weather or Norwegian landscapes. All are unique events which provide points that count towards the overall world ranking. Open Ranking, All levels for all cyclists.
For 2018 they added new features to improve the range and quality of the world tour:
- $36,000 USD dolars in money prizes for top 3 ranking winners. (road version)
- $10,000 USD for winner man/woman, representing best economical prize in woman cycling events. 5.000 and 2.000 USD for 2nd and 3rt final ranking top 3.
- $6,000 USD in prizes for Gran Fondo World Championship ® Ladies Only
- $6,000 USD in money prizes for top 3 ranking winners (MTB_Gravel version)
- New destinations in, Asia, South-America and Africa