Come and Ride the Rural Roller-Coaster Roads at the Boone Gran Fondo!
The Boone Gran Fondo p/b Capua Law Firm on Sunday, August 6th is a great way to escape the summer heat, enjoy quiet mountain roads, and experience Boone's unique downtown environment.
Sitting at just over 3,000 feet above sea level in North Carolina’s high country, mid-summer temperatures in Boone, NC, are among the most comfortable in the Southeast. Early August is a prime time to be in Boone!
Boone is nestled in the Western Carolina Appalachian Mountains. The scenery is unparalleled with grand vistas stretching over 100 miles. The laid back atmosphere of this western North Carolina college town is contagious. One of the smaller fields for a Gran Fondo National Series event, the Boone Gran Fondo has a supportive, family feel with great local food.
There are distances of 24, 57, or 95 miles to suit all abilities of cyclists. The rural roller-coaster roads around Boone are a ton of fun, and quite challenging. The climbs aren’t very long, but that means there’s not a lot of time for recovery on the descents, either. This is a great course for all-around riders.
A timing-chip keeps track of your progress throughout the course and allows you to compete for the best time through the timed sections out on the course. Your overall time at the end of the day are based only on your combined time through the timed sections.
You can regroup and ride with friends, stop at aid stations, and enjoy the scenery in between. You can ride with confidence on the marked and marshalled course, supported by law enforcement, safety motos, mechanic and sag vehicles, and staffed feed stations.
First Place Photos will be out taking photos at multiple locations around the course. Event photos will available for purchase a few days after the event.
About Timed-Segment Competition
The Boone Gran Fondo is not a start-to-finish competition. Instead, a rider’s placing is based on their combined time through marked and designated timed segments along the course. Gran Route age group winners earn custom Suarez Cycling Winner's kits, and all finishers earn a commemorative finisher award. And the rider with the median time on a designated segment will win The Wahoo "Mid Pack Attack" Prize, a Wahoo ELEMNT Roam computer!
Come for the great courses, world-class rider support, timed segment competitions, a great post-ride meal, and more than $5,000 in raffle prizes!
There are 4 timed sections for the Gran, 3 for the Medio and 1 for the Piccolo.
Starting at presenting sponsor Capua Law Firm in Boone, and 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.
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.
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. 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.
T-1 Winkler’s Creek (all distances)
The climb starts just 2 miles out of Boone, enough time to warm your legs up. The climb is 2.3 miles long with 525 feet of climbing at an average gradient of 3% with no more than 11% in places.
T-2 Blue Ridge Parkway (counts for Medio Fondo and Gran Fondo distances)
The climb starts after 15 miles after riders have entered Grandfather Mountain State Park. The climb is 7.8 miles long with 841 feet of climbing at an average of 1%.
T-3 Hickory Nut Gap (counts for Medio Fondo and Gran Fondo distances)
The climb kicks in after 31 miles. Its 4.3 miles with 700 ft of climbing at an average gradient of 3.4%
T-4 Beaver Dam (counts for Gran Fondo distance)
The final climb for those doing the Gran Fondo is after 64 miles at Sweetwater. Its 5.5 miles with 1,015 ft of climbing at an average gradient of 3%, very similar to Beech Mountain.
Downloadable Course Maps
Even though the course will be well marked, you can load the route to your smart phone or GPS device.
Full GPS course maps are available for download here.
Ride with your friends, Race with your friends!
Timed segment format allows riders to be social and competitive within the same event. During the timed segments, cyclists who choose to compete can "show their strength" and record fast times. When you’re outside those timed sections, everyone has the opportunity to regroup, ride together, enjoy the beautiful scenery, relax, and stop at aid stations.
No racing license is required, and support includes fully stocked aid stations and SAG support to keep you going. Enjoy a great meal and beer at the finish line, plus chances to win valuable prizes!
Solo, Team and Age Group Prizes
Professional chip timing keeps track of every rider on course and allows riders to compete for the best combined time through up to 4 timed sections on route. Riders can compete solo or as a team, while also riding at a more relaxed pace with others between timed sections to and enjoy the super scenic views!
More competitive riders can compete for overall victory and age group podiums for men and women.
There is also a team competition, won by the combined time of a team’s fastest three riders. Bonus seconds are awarded for additional team members who finish, meaning there’s a benefit to bringing a larger team.
A fun day on the bike with World Class support
No matter if you’re competing for the championship or not, you’re sure to have a well-supported fun day on the bike. Ride with the people you want to ride with, at the pace you want to go. Regroup between timed sections, stop at aid stations, and enjoy the incredible views.
Ride worry-free with fully stocked aid stations and on-course sag support.
There’s a huge celebration at the finish line, with a party with great food, drinks and cold beer and of course the much anticipated award ceremony and raffle!
The Asheville Gran Fondo Raffle features more than $5,000 of prizes from Series sponsors, and ALL riders are eligible to win. Any rider who completes any 2023 SUAREZ Gran Fondo National Series event format on the scheduled weekend will be eligible for the raffle. Raffle winners must be present to win. The raffle is held after the awards.
Great prizes from our sponsors such as:
4-night Stay at Garda Bike Hotel in Italy
inGamba Promotional Items
Wahoo ELEMNT Rival GPS Watch
Wahoo KICKR smart trainer (model TBD)
Industry Nine hubset
Cane Creek components
Bike Flights travel voucher
CTS Trainright Membership
Jittery Joe’s Coffee
UNDRBUDR anti-chafe cream
Ride with GPS Premium Membership
(List subject to change)
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 High Country of North Carolina!
Prices go up on July 28th, 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.
Benefiting Watuaga Pioneers Mountain Bike Team
The Watauga Pioneers Mountain Bike Team will be manning our aid stations. To help support them we are accepting donations which will go directly to the team, which currently has 29 student athletes ranging from 6th through 11th grades, and 16 volunteer coaches.
The team is part of NICA - National Interscholastic Cycling Association and is affiliated with the North Carolina State League of NICA.