2023 USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship to be held at the 12th Annual Gran Fondo Maryland
The 2023 USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships will be held in conjunction with Gran Fondo Maryland, the date for the Championships in Frederick, Maryland, will be September 17, 2023.
A USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship title, complete with a national championship jersey and medal, will be awarded to the overall winner in each Gran Route (~100 mile) National Championships’ age-group category at the annual USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship, which in 2023 will be held as a part of the Gran Fondo Maryland, presented by Ourisman Automotive Group.
Riders do not need to qualify to participate in Gran Fondo Maryland. All normal Maryland Gran Fondo routes (Gran, Medio, Piccolo) are open to all riders to register and do not require qualification. There is a separate start time for USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship participants, they will start 30 minutes prior to the Gran Fondo Maryland riders.
Maryland is the original event that kick-started the Gran Fondo National Series and established the foundation of the popular timed section format, essential to the competitive element. Your participation and results from any of the series and partner events will have allowed you to qualify for the championship, you can view the list of qualified riders for the 2023 National Championships here.
Organizers anticipate the National Championship to draw over 1,000 cyclists form across the nation in 2023, along with many family members and spectators. It highlights the area as a world class cycling destination; along with other top-quality cycling events in the state such as the recent success of the Maryland Cycling Classic, and USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships in 2022, “I’m proud to bring attention to the quality of all types of cycling in and around the state of Maryland” Said Series founder and Directory Reuben Kline.
Photo: Andrew Knight from Georgia beat, Felipe Aros and Benjamin Wright in the men's race to pull on the coveted Stars and Stripes Gran Fondo National Championship jersey in 2022.
“The Maryland Sports Commission is excited to partner with the Gran Fondo National Series and Gran Fondo Maryland in the efforts to secure the 2023 USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships in Frederick,” said Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of Maryland Sports Commission. “Maryland Sports, along with TEAM Maryland partners like Visit Frederick, are constantly building out our portfolio of events to solidify the state as a sought after destination for cycling competition. We look forward to welcoming competitors and spectators to Frederick in 2023.”
There is a separate start time for USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship participants, they will start 30 minutes prior to the Gran Fondo Maryland riders.
Also, your best three results in the SUAREZ Gran Fondo National Series events count toward the season-long Gran Fondo National Series Points Competition. At each event you earn points equal to your age group placing (1 for winning, 24 for finishing 24th, etc.) and the lowest sum of three events wins the Series Points Championship.
Photo: Jill Patterson from Virginia beat Rachel Jordan and Debbie Milne to pull on the women's Stars and Stripes Gran Fondo National Championship jersey in 2022.
Whether you’re riding the USA Cycling Championships, running in conjunction with Gran Fondo Maryland, or just riding the Fondo for fun, it is the perfect way to cap off your summer cycling season. The event has something for everyone, taking riders through several different state parks, municipal forests, protected watersheds, and the Catoctin Mountain National Park.
Frederick, Maryland is less than an hour from Washington DC and Baltimore, and within 4 hours driving distance from many of the biggest cities on the East Coast, including Philadelphia, New York City, Pittsburgh, Roanoke, Richmond, and Norfolk.
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 well designed, quiet and breathtakingly beautiful routes take riders on a challenging and scenic loop north through several different parks, forests and protected watersheds, almost touching the Pennsylvania state line before heading south into the Catoctin Mountain National Park, Frederick Watershed, and Gambrill State Parks.
After exploring this incredible region, riders will return back into historic downtown Fredrick and be welcome to well-deserved festivities at the finish line, complete with great food from Brewer’s Alley, beverage from Monocacy Brewing Co, and more fun.
Ride with Your Friends, Race with your Friends!
Gran Fondo National Series events feature timed segment competitions. With four timed sections on the Gran Route, two on the Medio, and one on the Piccolo, cyclists can compete for awards across a range of categories, including men and women’s age groups and a team competition.
Start-to-finish time does not count toward the results, only you combined time through the timed segments determines your standings. 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.
When you’re outside those timed sections, you have an opportunity to look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery, relax, stop at aid stations and regroup with friends.
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 SAUREZ for all Gran Route age group winners with Awards for top three in each category for the Gran, Medio and Piccolo routes. No racing license is required to take part.
With up to four timed sections, cyclists can compete for prizes across a range of categories for men, women and a team event too.
While riders have the opportunity to pace themselves and enjoy the view, professional or competitive cyclists can "show their strength" at every section. When you’re outside those timed sections, you have an opportunity to look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery, relax, stop at aid stations and regroup with friends.
The Gran route has 4 timed climbs of Hamburg Hill, Harp Hill, The Gully of Darius and Gambrill Park. The Medio route 2 timed climbs of Hamburg Hill and Gambrill Park. The Piccolo route contains the timed climb of Hamburg Hill.
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 SUAREZ Gran Fondo National Championship Jersey!
T-1 Hamburg Hill
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.
T-2 Harp Hill
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.
T3 - 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.
T4 - Gambrill Park
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
The routes will be very well marked, but we encourage you to get the RideWithGPS App and load the route to your smart phone or GPS. Use this RSVP LINK to access premium RideWithGPS features and get turn by turn navigation for free.
Full GPS course maps are available for https://www.granfondonationalseries.com/gfnc-maryland-maps
There will be 4 aid stations along the 97-mile route and 3 on the 61-mile route, and 1 on the 28-mile route. We will provide Water, Heed sports drink, Soda, Hammer Gel, Bananas, Clementines, Cookies, Chips, and Fig Bars.
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.
Prizes for Everyone!
The Maryland 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)
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.
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 Sat Aug 19th, so register now and save!
For more information, please visit https://www.granfondonationalseries.com/gran-fondo-maryland, or click the button below to register now.
Benefiting Linganore Mountain Bike Team
The Linganore Mountain Bike Team is for student athletes in grades 6-12 and sanctioned by the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League (MICL) and National Interscholastic Cycling Assoc. (NICA).