Cyclists Endure Snow at one of America’s Toughest Gran Fondo's in Colorado
Conditions at the Golden Gran Fondo in Colorado were challenging, with periods of snow at the highest elevations
The Gran Fondo National Series event in Golden, Colorado took place on Sunday June 23rd, and took riders on an unforgettable journey through the Rocky Mountains. It‘s earned a reputation as one of the hardest one-day bike challenges in the country, and for good reason.
With over 10,000 feet of climbing over the Gran Fondo course, traversing high alpine gravel roads, grades approaching 20% in some sections, and all starting at an altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level, no one expected an easy day!
It started by tracing the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge towards continental divide and featured some of the same roads used in the Coors Classic and featured in the movie American Flyers which was set in the town of Golden.
John Keller of Englewood, CO was the fastest over the four timed sections on the Gran Fondo that included Lookout Mountain, Mountain Base Road, the gravel hard packed top of Twin Spruce and the final climb of Drew Hill. His average speed was 15.72 mph with a combined time of 62m 35s, followed by Travis Lechner and ex-professional rider and Cinch Coach Tom Danielson.
The fastest female was Aimee Vasse whose combined time was 77m 29s, ahead of Renee Eastman and Jamie Brede.
In the Medio Fondo, Bill Marcoux from Lakewood CO was fastest over the three timed sections, with a time of 40m 23s ahead of Dustin Gaspari and Ryan Stewart. For the women, Hannah Reese from Littleton CO was fastest in a time of 43m 09s ahead of Christine Snider and Megan Castle.
In the Piccolo Fondo, Darren Blair from Centennial CO was fastest over the timed section, with a time of 26m 40s ahead of Gene Della Siega and Michael Scott. For the women, Kate Williams was fastest in a time of 35m 33s ahead of Jessie Woodruff and Sarah Marconi.
In the team award, unsurprisingly it was Cinch Cycling who took the top two podium spots ahead of Haute Route’s Ambassador Team.
Everyone benefitted from fully stocked aid stations and SAG support out on course to keep everyone fuelled up and pedalling over the breath-taking views of the Colorado ranges.
Despite the difficult conditions atop Twin Spruce with snow, everyone was greeted with a warm welcome back in Parfet Park in downtown Golden, to celebrate with a finishing medal, hot food and cold beer.
VIDEO: Warm welcome for Golden Gran Fondo Finishers
Afterwards, were the awards ceremonies for first, second third podium places across the full range of age categories, which included Custom “Race Winner” jersey for all Gran Route age group winners made by DNA Cycling.
Everyone stayed on for the ever popular raffle that included top swag from sponsors! One lucky rider went home with a KICKR Snap smart trainer from Wahoo Fitness. Also awarded was a free entry into any 3-day Haute Route event and a group voucher for a trip of a lifetime, a week at Garda Bike Hotel in Italy!
You can re-play the race using live tracking here.
Link to full results: http://bit.ly/2ZMOVFN
Official Photo’s are available here.
Don’t miss the Gran Fondo National Championships in Asheville!
GFNS hosts the annual Gran Fondo National Championship, a one-day competition, using the same format to determine winners of the USA Gran Fondo National Championship.
Participation is open to all riders and no qualification is required.
Gran Fondo Asheville on July 21st 2019 will host the championship this year.
Winners of the 100 mile Gran Fondo route at this event will be crowned Gran Fondo National Champion, across each age group category.
The age categories for men are: MU23, M23-34, M35-44, M45-54, M55-64 and M65+
The age categories for women are: WU23, W23-34, W35-44, W45-54, W55-64 and W65+
Each Gran Fondo National Championship winner will receive a custom winner’s kit from DNA Cycling and 1 free entry to any 3-day Haute Route event in the United States.
For more information, please visit: https://www.granfondonationalseries.com/gran-fondo-asheville