Gran Fondo Maryland the Penultimate Round of the Growing GFNS Series
Maryland celebrates its 8th edition, part of North America’s expanding U.S. National Gran Fondo Series
Gran Fondo Maryland in Frederick on September 22nd counts towards the Gran Fondo Series National Championship for gran fondo racing in the U.S.
With just 2 rounds to go, the Gran Fondo National Championship Series competition is wide open across all of the age categories with a tight race with no clear winner. The series competition is comprised of a riders best three finishes across any of the series events. Hence, riders from across North America have already signed up for Maryland with their eyes firmly focussed on one of the many custom winner’s kit from DNA Cycling!
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!
Maryland is the original event that kick-started the national series and established the foundation of the popular timed section format, essential to the competitive element of the series. Since then participation has sky rocketed with well over 10,000 participants taking part across North America from over 50 states and internationally.
There are three distances to suit all abilities of riders. The Gran Fondo is 96.6 miles with 9,133 feet of climbing, the Medio 61.4 miles with 5,718 feet of climbing and the Piccolo 27.8 miles with 2,388 feet of climbing.
The Gran Fondo contains 4 timed climbs of Hamburg Hill, Harp Hill, the Gully of Darius and Gambrill Park and 4 aid stations. The Medio contains 2 timed climbs of Hamburg Hill and Gambrill Park and 3 aid stations. The Piccolo Fondo contains the timed climb of Hamburg Hill and an aid station afterwards.
The well designed, quiet and breathtakingly beautiful routes take riders on a scenic loop north through several different parks, forests and protected watersheds, touching the Pennsylvania state line before heading south into the Catoctin Mountain, Frederick and Gambrill National State Parks.
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” kits from DNA Cycling 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.
Here’s a preview of the timed sections that will be used to determine the overall men and women’s individual and team prizes. Riders with the fastest combined time through each designated section will have truly earned a Maryland Gran Fondo National Championship Jersey!
Riders will travel northwest out of the city of Frederick before entering the Frederick Municipal Forest where the first timed section #1 will gain over 1,270 feet in a 5.6 mile race segment.
At the top riders will be able to relax and enjoy the cool mountain forest as the course plummets over the west side of the mountain range.
After 16 miles of cycling you’ll start climbing up to the Highlands of Monroe, timed section #2 ascends the southern approach to Harp Hill for a punchy up-down-up-down-up lasting for a brief 1.4 miles and 279 feet of vertical gain.
It may be less than two miles long, but it will have some of the steepest consistent grades, the other side of Harp Hill was a KOM in the national classic Tour DuPont road race.
For the next 25 miles and 2,500 feet of cumulative gain, the route then follows a mix of small and obscure backroads heading north towards the decommissioned military base of Fort Ritchie.
The Gully of Darius
Time Section #3 is a very dynamic segment and certainly cannot be called a timed climb. Section #3 will require riders to use caution and technical skill with several 90° turns including an old bridge crossing and tar & chip road surface.
The section starts on a wide downhill roadway where for the first 4.9 miles riders lose 500 feet of elevation before hitting the last 1k and 300 vertical feet to the finish of section #3 on top of Hornets Nest Road. Time segment #3 known as The Gully of Darius is a total of 5.5 miles -574 /+386 feet.
From here the route heads south and works its way back exploring nooks and crannies in the Catoctin Mountain Range and travels through Catoctin Mountain National Park for 22 miles and +2250 feet of untimed pedalling. Past riders will be able to take special appreciation as they descend Park Central Road, which was used in the opposite direct as race section #2 in past years.
If there’s any doubt who the best KOM and QOM winners are at this point, the final climb up will decide it!
As Gran Route riders approach mile 71 they need to take in a deep breath, shake out their legs and prepare for the hardest segment of the day, (this segment also counts as a time segment for Medio Route riders).
Timed Section #4 is 11.4 miles +1203 feet and will test every rider’s ability! The segment starts by gaining 784 feet over the first 4.6 miles and then continues for a challenging and undulating 6.8 miles on top of the mountain ridge on Gambrill Park Road through Frederick Watershed and into Gambrill State Park.
After completing time section #4, riders will have over 1000 feet of elevation on their side as they drop off the mountain range and into the valley towards the finish, but completing the route is not over, there are still some hills that are sure to make riders know they are still alive. Riders will return back into historic downtown Fredrick and be welcome to well-deserved festivities at the finish line, complete with great food, beverage, and more fun.
Downloadable Course Maps
There are fully stocked feed stations with product from Hammer Nutrition and Bonk Breaker on all routes to keep you fed and hydrated, *complimentary event T-shirt, Goody Bag, a cycling cap from Hub Labels and Structural Elements 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 from Monocacy Brewing Company, food and music at the finish line!
Awards presented three deep for each category for fastest combined section times. Including awards for the 30 mile Piccolo route and 60 mile Medio route.
Custom produced Maryland Gran Fondo Winners kits from DNA Cycling 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.granfondonationalseries.com/team-category
You must be present to win in the raffle, so stay and pick up a great prize!
Register NOW and SAVE!
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 the Catoctin Mountain, Frederick and Gambrill National State Parks.
Prices go up on September 14th, so register now and save.
For more information, please visit: granfondonationalseries.com/gran-fondo-maryland, or click the button below to register now.
Gran Fondo Maryland Apparel is available for purchase here: https://store.dnacycling.com/collections/gfns-maryland
Next up in the GFNS calendar will be Jensie Gran Fondo
This year sees the culmination of Gran Fondo National Championship Series competition hosted at the 6th Annual Jensie Gran Fondo in Half Moon Bay, California a week after Maryland on September 28th.