Enjoy North Carolina’s High Country at the Boone Gran Fondo
The course starts and ends in the cool college town of Boone nestled in the Western Carolina Appalachian Mountains. The scenery is unparalleled with grand vistas stretching 100 miles
Don't miss out on your chance to ride 20, 55 or 100 miles on Sunday, August 4 in the cool mountain air around Boone, NC.
Come for the ride, stay for the prizes (and beer!). Thanks to our great partners, all riders have a chance to win great prizes after the ride. We'll be raffling many great prizes from our Sponsors including a stay at the Garda Bike Hotel in Italy, and much more!
In mid-summer, the High Country of North Carolina enjoys 80-degree temperatures while the surrounding East Coast temperatures hover in the high 90s. Early August is a prime time to be in Boone! The Boone Gran Fondo rolls through Appalachian State University and, after just a few turns, climbs beside picturesque Winklers Creek during the first timed section.
Race the timed sections and then sit up and swap stories with your friends! The standings at the end of the day are based only on your times through the timed sections. You can regroup and ride with friends, stop at aid stations, and enjoy the scenery between sections.
Each rider is provided an electronic timing-chip to keep track of their progress throughout the course and to allow riders to compete for best time through highlighted sections of the course. Best Combined Time Wins. Custom “Race Winner” jerseys for all Gran Route age group winners with Awards and Prizes for Gran Route winners. Awards and Prizes for Medio and Piccolo winners and no racing license is required to take part.
The climb starts just 2 miles out of Boone, enough time to warm your legs up. The climb is 3.8 miles long with 650 feet of climbing at an average gradient of 3% with no more than 10% in places.
After a short downhill and a climb up the gorgeous Shull’s Mill road, the course passes the Blue Ridge Parkway and turns onto Hwy 221. This section of road was hand built in the 1890’s across Grandfather Mountain and served as the Blue Ridge Parkway until the 1980’s. This second timed section is like a paved roller coaster.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The climb starts after 15 miles after riders have entered Grandfather Mountain State Park. The climb is 7.5 miles long with 340 feet of climbing at an average of 1%.
After passing the Grandfather Park entrance, the downhill into Linville is a local favorite stretch of road. The route passes through the Avery County seat, the town of Newland. The back roads of Cow Camp and Squirrel Creek lead to the North Toe River Valley. Here, riders enjoy a few tranquil moments in the valley before the ascent, and third timed section, on the back of Beech Mountain.
The climb kicks in after 48 miles after the Cranberry Gap at Heaton. It's 5.4 miles with 970 ft of climbing at an average gradient of 3%. There is a short section of gradient at 13% near the top.
Another nice downhill waits on the other side. The beautiful Bethel Valley brings riders to a climb to the Tennessee State Line to end the fourth timed section.
The final climb for thos doing the Gran Fondo is after 67 miles at Sweetwater. Its 5.5 miles with 972 ft of climbing at an average gradient of 3%, very similar to Beech Mountain.
From here, the route cruises on a very long gradual downhill grade through the valley and communities of Sugar Grove and Valle Crucis before it takes a climb up Laurel Fork and White Oak roads back to the town of Boone.
The Gran Fondo is 100 miles, the Medio 55 miles and the Piccolo 20 miles - to suit all abilities. The Gran Fondo includes the 4 climbs mentioned, whilst the Medio includes 2 climbs, that of Winklers Creek and Blue Ridge Parkway. The Piccolo includes the 1 climb of Winklers Creek.
Full GPS course maps are available for download here.
There are fully stocked feed stations on all routes to keep you fed and hydrated, *complimentary event T-shirt, Goody Bag, Event Water bottle and other various swag items, a finishers Medal for completing the Gran Fondo route, awards for age placement, a raffle and of course the chance to win awards and prizes for placement in the overall timed climbs.
Awards, Prizes and Raffle
Be sure to plan to stick around for cold beers, food and music at the finish line!
Awards presented three deep for each category for fastest section times. In addition, the fastest male in section 2 and in section 4 and the fastest female in section 1 and in section 3 will win a prize.
Custom produced Boone Gran Fondo Winners kits will be awarded to the fastest riders in each age category of the Gran Route event.
Team competition: fastest four person team in the Gran Route details at: https://www.granfondonationalchampionshipseries.com/team-category
There is a raffle directly following 100 mile awards, we will have great stuff for the raffle from our sponsors including prizes from: Shimano, Bonk Breaker, Garda Bike Hotel, Swiftwick, Haute Route, DNA Cycling, Hammer Nutrition, Industry Nine, Jittery Joe's Coffee, Pedal Industries, BikeFlights, HUB Labels, CrotchGuard, Cane Creek, Shott Performance, Structural Elements, Wahoo Fitness, Epic Ride Weather.
You must be present to win, so stay and pick up a great prize!
Benefiting Western Youth Network
WYN recognizes a simple truth—growing up is hard, especially during those pivotal years from 5th through 10th grade. WYN invests in the lives of children and youth in order to build a better future and a stronger community for the High Country. We truly are “raising a community” and we do this by providing unique and quality programming that offers individualized support to over 200 children and youth each year in our Mentoring and After School Initiatives alone.
Register Now to Secure a Place
Registration is open, but with just over a month to go you'll need to hurry to secure a place on this epic challenge across western Carolina's Appalachian Mountains. Prices go up on July 26th, so register now and save.
For more information, please visit: https://www.granfondonationalseries.com/gran-fondo-boone, or click the button below to register now.
Boone Gran Fondo Apparel is available for purchase here: https://store.dnacycling.com/collections/gfns-boone