Gran Fondo National Series, supported by Haute Route

Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

April 28 2019
Helen, Georgia, USA

Georgia’s Bavarian Alpine village is nestled in the heart of the north Georgia mountains. Helen was a highlight during the Tour of Georgia pro race and now GFNS is excited to partner with Helen to bring our riders to this premier mountain town! Helen is nestled in an amazing riding location, has great accommodations, and offers many family friendly experiences. Helen has more than 200 specialty shops. Unicoi State Park offers unique accommodations and has many nature trails and lake activities. 

Nestled in the Bavarian Alpine village of Helen, GA the ride starts in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains.  After rolling out of Helen the route hits the first timed segment at mile 2.5, where any riders with intentions of an overall podium finish and cash payout will need to put their cards on the table from the start. The first time section immediately enters the mountainous area made famous by the 2003-2008 Tour de Georgia. In 2008, Unicoi Gap was the second to last climb on the approach to the race-deciding ascent up Brasstown Bald where Kanstantin Suitsou got the jump on Trent Lowe and Levi Leipheimer to win the event.  As riders  tackle this timed section they cover over 7 miles and climb 1500ft to the top of Unicoi Gap. The climb is very gradual for several miles, before turning into a real alpine ascent. Enjoy the vistas of the Chattahoochee National Forest on the descent before turning left and climbing up and over Jack’s Gap.

A left turn on Richard Russell Scenic Hwy will put riders face to face with the 2nd timed section, Hogpen gap. Within 6.5 miles and another 1500ft, riders will reach the highest point on the course at 3469ft with ramps of 12%.  The views at the top of the surrounding peaks are breathtaking. Check your speed and be careful on the descent as there are many sharp turns. Enjoy the ride through the forest knowing that the hardest riding is behind you.

After tackling the two biggest climbs of the day riders will head east from Helen through Unicoi State Park. The route then hits the 3rd timed section at mile 46, comprised of rolling terrain for a 4 mile section. Riders then get to enjoy a non-timed section of the route for the next 30 miles as the route explore the area round Lake Burton and Seed Lake.  Be sure to save a bit of energy for the final time section, it only last just over 2 miles but at over 80 miles in to the day you’ll need to find some go go power.

The route finishes back into the landmark town of Helen where, in 1969, local business owners collaborated to create what is now called “Bavaria in the Appalachians.” Just outside of Helen on the route is the Nacoochee Indian Mound, the center of the ancient Cherokee town of Gauxule, visited by Desoto in his search for gold.  Be sure to plan to stick around for beers, food and music served up at the finish line.

Georgia Gran Fondo

 
Routes: 25, 64, 86, 103 miles
Difficulty of Greatest Route: D - Difficult terrain with longer, steeper hills
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST)
 
What's Included?

Hot food and cold beer waiting for you at the finish line, plus chances to win valuable prizes!

The routes will be very well marked

Prize / Race Categories

Custom “Race Winner” jersey for HC & Gran Route (combined) age group winners

Awards and Prizes for Gran, Medio, and Piccolo age-group podiums

Facilities
Adequate Car Parking
Free Parking
Sign On Desk
Registration/Entry On the Day
Pre-Packet Pickups
 
Support for Participants
Route Signposted
Route Card
First Aid
Emergency Contact No
SAG Wagon
Marshalls
Escort / Police Escort
Controlled Intersections
Roving Mechanical Support
Neutral Support Vehicles
Mechanical Support at Rest Stops
 
Features
Electronic Start/Finish Hill Timing
Category / Race Prizes
Finishing Medals
Results Within 24 Hours
Photos
Downloadable GPS files
Fundraising
Finish Line Chute
 
Nutrition
Feed / Aid Stations
Post Event Meal(s) Provided As Part of Entry
 
Number of Timed Hill Climbs
Four Hill Climbs
 
Event Size
Less Than 500 Riders
 
 
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