Hundreds of cyclists braved Savage conditions at the 12th Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

Hundreds of brave cyclists rode up to 90 miles with over 9,000 feet  in freezing rain with temperatures dropping below 43F, and conquering the North Georgia Appalachian Mountains in perhaps the most challenging cold wet conditions of any gran fondo ever!

Hundreds of cyclists braved Savage conditions at the 12th Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

Starting and finishing in Helen, GA, all three routes featured long, steep and challenging climbs, along quiet country roads that typically offer breath-taking scenic views, and thrilling descents across farmland transitioning to mountainous terrain, the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, and crisscross the Appalachian Trail.

Climbs included Unicoi Gap, Jacks Gap, and Hogpen Gap, made famous by now defunct Tour of Georgia pro race.

Cold weather and constant rain made the conditions as described by participants as “savage” with freezing conditions at the top of the climbs on the Appalachian Mountains. Not everyone made it round the course, some cutting off and heading back to Helen. Series partner Shimano Road did a tremendous job to support all the riders in very challenging conditions, with Moto keeping an eye on all the riders out on course at all times to make sure everyone made it back to the finish line to celebrate / commiserate.

Hundreds of cyclists braved Savage conditions at the 12th Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

In the Gran Fondo, Jeff Lamy from Davie FL was fastest over the 4 timed climbs in a time of 1h 21m 29s ahead of Jorg Decressin from MD and James Tobias from SC. In the women’s race, Shannon Scanlon was fastest in a time of 1h 38m 59s ahead of Megumi Jones from FL and Denise Desauliners from FL.

Christopher Merier from MD and local rider Ana Mejia were fastest in the 66 mile Medio Fondo that packed in 6,900 feet of climbing.

Andre Gracindo from FL and Alexandria Cornell from TX were fastest in the 25 mile Piccolo Fondo.

Riders enjoyed hot food and drinks back at the start line in Helen Georgia and celebrated with a medal for finishing, podium presentations and the legendary raffle with over $5,000 USD of prizes handed out by series sponsors.

Reuben Kline, Series founder and director commented “Congratulations to everyone who got out there and battled the crazy conditions and thank you to the friends and family who came along to support them. It was great to have support from our sponsor Shimano Road along to toughing out the conditions with us, as well as many volunteer and staff who put in a hard day of work supporting our riders!“

Hundreds of cyclists braved Savage conditions at the 12th Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

Overall Gran Fondo Podium

1st Jeff Lamy, Davie FL  (1h 21m 29s)
2nd Jorg Decressin, Betheada, MD
3rd James Tobias, Sumerville SC

Women’s Gran Fondo Podium

1st Shannon Scanlon, Annapolis MD (1h 38m 59s)
2nd Megumi Jones, Navarre FL
3rd Denise Desauliners, Miami Beach FL

Hundreds of cyclists braved Savage conditions at the 12th Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

Overall Medio Fondo Podium

1st Christopher Meier Reisterstown MD (1h 17m 24s)
2nd Jim Nam Cumming GA
3rd Carlos Humberto Castano

Women’s Medio Fondo Podium

1st Ana Mejia Acworth GA (1h 51m 55s)
2nd Laura Gagel Sherrills Ford NC
3rd Lillian Wojcik Foster Brooklin NY

Overall Piccolo Fondo Podium

1st Andre Gracindo Celebration FL (12m 12s)
2nd Nicolas Cornell Plano TX
3rd Michael Howard

Women’s Piccolo Fondo Podium

1st Alexandria Cornell Plano TX (14m 5s)
2nd Monica Bishop Hixson TX
3rd Camila Valencia Florez Suwanee GA

Link to 2024 Tour of Georgia Results:

Hundreds of cyclists braved Savage conditions at the 12th Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

Next up: Highlands Gran Fondo, and get a FREE custom Jersey!

North America’s #2 Top Gran Fondo is back this June 2nd 2024. Register by May 7th to receive a FREE custom SUAREZ jersey!

Last year 1,000 cyclists and an incredible 50 teams enjoyed gorgeous weather to ride through the New Jersey Highlands at the sold out SUAREZ Gran Fondo National Series Highlands Gran Fondo starting in Butler, NJ.

And yet, even with a record number of riders on course, riders experienced one of the smoothest editions of Highlands Gran Fondo’s 11-year history.

The hilly Highlands region outside of Butler, NJ features great climbs, miles and miles of quiet country roads and climbs and ascends to the highest point in New Jersey. It is a great way to experience the landscape just 30 minutes from New York City. It’s clearly a favourite in cyclist’s eyes! A great event for all-around cyclists who can power up short climbs and still have the energy to push the pace in a group.


This ride from Butler, New Jersey is a great way to experience the landscape outside the New York City metro area. With remarkably quiet country roads, shady tree canopies, and a downtown start/finish at High Point Brewery, this beautiful and challenging ride is well worth the trip. The Gran Route crosses the Appalachian Trail eight time and showcases some spectacular areas. It’s hard to believe riding this good is located so close to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.

With proximity to huge cycling communities in New York and New Jersey, the Highlands Gran Fondo attracts a large and diverse peloton of competitive, supportive, and fun-loving cyclists of all ability levels. A great opportunity to make a family visit to NYC and get in some great riding!

Sign up for the Highlands Gran Fondo and get a FREE custom Jersey!

3 Routes for All Abilities

There are three distances on offer, the 101-mile Gran Route has 4 timed sections and 7,400 feet of climbing, the 60-mile Medio route has 3 timed sections and 4,300 feet of climbing, and the 45-mile Piccolo Route has 2 timed sections and 2,450 feet of climbing.

Grab a FREE Custom Jersey

New for 2024, the SUAREZ Gran Fondo National Series including an event-specific custom jersey from SUAREZ Cycling Apparel when you register at least 26 days before a Gran Fondo National Series owned event, for Gran Fondo Highlands the deadline is May 7th 2024.

There will be event-specific jerseys for Gran Fondo Florida, Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo, Highlands Gran Fondo, Gran Fondo Asheville, Boone Gran Fondo, and Gran Fondo Maryland.


Register NOW to Secure a Place

Registration is open - but you'll need to hurry to secure a place on this epic challenge across northern New Jersey’s Appalachian Mountains.

Register before May 3rd before prices rise. Register before May 7th for a FREE custom event jersey! 

For more information, please visit:

2024 Event Calendar

Gran Fondo Florida

March 17, 2024

Dade City, FL

Register Now

Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo

April 21, 2024

Helen, Georgia

Register Now

Highlands Gran Fondo

June 2, 2024

Butler, NJ

Register Now

Gran Fondo Asheville

July 14, 2024

Asheville, NC

Register Now

Boone Gran Fondo

August 4, 2024

Boone, NC

Register Now

Gran Fondo Maryland

September 15, 2024

Frederick, MD

Register Now

2024 USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship

September 15, 2024

Frederick, MD

Register Now

2024 Partner Events

In addition to the 6 events organized and run by the Series, there are a growing number Partner-Events where athletes can earn points toward the 2024 Gran Fondo National Series Points Championship. Watch for additional Partner-Events to be included for 2024.

Cheaha Challenge

May 18-19, 2024

Jacksonville, AL

Vermont Gran Fondo

June 29, 2024

Bristol, VT

Cache Gran Fondo

July 23, 2024

Logan, UT

Bogus Basin Hill Climb

June 30, 2024

Boise, ID

719 Ride

July 20, 2024

Colorado Springs, CO

Alpine Loop Gran Fondo

October 2024

Harrisonburg, VA

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Gran Fondo

October 13, 2024

Fincastle, VA

For more information on the 2024 SUAREZ Gran Fondo National Series, please visit:

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