Murphy, Pasch win Gran Fondo Asheville
On a warm, dry Saturday, many were cycling for Father's Day weekend in Western North Carolina.
Asheville June 20th - Showing he’s not too big of a big shot to compete in a local race, professional cyclist John Murphy, 32, of Horse Shoe, not only came out to the third annual Gran Fondo Asheville Saturday, but won it.
Murphy, who rides for Asheville-based Team UnitedHealthcare, is a former national criterium champion, and recently won the Winston-Salem Classic Criterium. He was the overall winner of the Gran Fondo, presented by Duke Energy and BorgWarner, which started and ended in downtown Asheville June 18.
The event included three routes: Gran Route (100 miles) with 8,827 feet of climbing, Medio Route (60 miles) with 4,937 feet of climbing, and the Piccolo Route (30 miles) with 1,911 feet of climbing. There are four timed sections in the Gran Route.
Murphy, who competed in the 100-mile race (of course), finished the combined timed climb sections in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 1 seconds, riding at an average pace of 19.4 mph. But he had to work for it. The race didn’t bring out any couch potatoes.
Hot on Murphy’s heels in second place overall was Noah Niwinski, 31, of Boone, who completetd the finished the combined timed climb sections in 1:12:43.95.
In third was Tristan Cowie, 27, of Mills River, in 1:12:54.37.
The overall female winner of the Gran route was Shannon Pasch, 44, of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, who finished the combined timed climb sections in 1:39:37.46. Second place female was R. Monderer, 54, of Johnson City, Tennessee, in 1:40:41.45. In third was Sue Neurath, 58 of Tucker, Georgia, in 1:43:20.01.
The race drew more than 200 riders from across the country. It is part of the Gran Fondo National Championship Series and is a benefit for the nonprofit Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Last Year the 2015 Gran Fondo Asheville presented by BorgWarner and Duke Energy raised over $53,000 for nonprofit organization Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It helps fund to protect black bears, educate school children, and preserve historic buildings in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
For full results, visit My Race Result.