GFNY Cycling Marathon expands to Rockford

The largest cycling marathon in the world is coming to Rockford, IL attracting at least 750 cyclists on August 7, 2022

The Gran Fondo New York (GFNY) cycling marathon, loosely translated from Italian as “big ride,” held its first race in 2011. It’s now held more than 30 events in 15 countries, including Mexico, Portugal and Argentina.

“Rockford has so much to offer for our cyclists – the beautiful scenery on the course, the tranquil roads for their racing cycling, the tourism activities in Rockford and around the area, and the fantastic, beautiful nature thought out Winnebago County,” said Lidia Fluhme, president of Gran Fondo New York. “We’d like to say thank you to Rockford and Winnebago County for the support to bring the race to your community. We’re really excited and know the cyclists are going to receive a fantastic welcome from you all.”

Rockford signed a three-year deal with GFNY, and city leaders expect the race to rack up nearly $1.3 million at local businesses during that time period. The event is expected to draw at least 750 cyclists along with spectators filling more than 1,000 hotel room nights. The Rockford region is one of five destinations to host this event in the United States in 2022, with the winners being granted a place at the GFNY World Championships in May of 2023.

The Rockford event will take place on Sunday, August 7, with planned run rides on the Friday and Saturday before the race. The race starts and ends in Rockford near the Venetian Club on Elmwood Rd. and passes by Carl and Myrna Nygren Wetland Preserve, Williams Tree Farm, The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms, Colored Sands Bluff Nature Preserve, Calvin and Sophia Ferguson Forest Preserve and crosses over or runs along the Pecatonica, Sugar and Rock Rivers as well as near Rockton, South Beloit, Durand, Shirland, and Lake Summerset. To see an interactive map of the route, click here.

Any athlete over the age of 18 is eligible to participate in this cycling event. Participants do not have to qualify or be a licensed racer with a federation to take part in GFNY.

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