What is a Gran Fondo?
Gran Fondos are long distance, mass start cycling events that have become a tradition in Italy. Gran Fondo is an Italian term that more or less translates to “Big Ride”. Gran Fondos are a hybrid between a long distance recreational cycling event (such as a century) and a competitive event (such as a road race). Similar events are defined Cyclosportif in French; Flemish in English, and Cyclosportives in Dutch. Gran Fondos are addressed to amateur cyclists who would like a recreational ride with a competitive twist. Thousands of riders, of all abilities, experience, and age take part to these events.
Gran Fondos cannot be considered as traditional races, and are something more than simple recreational rides. Gran Fondo are something else. One of the main factors differentiating Gran Fondos from any other sport event is the unique atmosphere: Gran Fondos are festivals involving the cycling ccommunity for several days.
Though Gran Fondos are not races in the traditional sense, whenever two or more cyclists ride side by side the competitive feeling is perceived. Gran Fondos can be compared to running’s marathons. As in the 26 miles running events, the majority of the cyclists taking part to Gran Fondos, challenge themselves in a personal battle against the course, the distance, and their personal time. While the faster and more trained riders will push the pace and try to end up first, most of the participants will enjoy a nice ride and be happy to complete the route within the allotted time.
What is Giro d’Italia?
Giro d’Italia is also known as “Giro” is a professional cycling race going throughout Italy. Founded in 1909, the Giro is a 3 week long “Grand Tour”; it is the second biggest professional cycling race in the world and it is known worldwide as “the toughest race, in the world’s most beautiful place”.
The race highlights the geographical diversity of Italy. featuring vertiginous climbs and twisting descents, breathtaking coastal views and magnificent rural landscapes, as it transverses Italy. The Giro d’Italia is a beautiful showcase of a country that, year after year, displays the best of itself: its geography, monuments, art, culture, design, fashion, food and folklore.
What is Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia?
Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia is an International circuit of Gran Fondo events born in 2012 in USA and progressively expanding worldwide. The idea is strictly linked to Giro d’Italia and aims at making the Giro d’Italia experience more accessible to fellow cyclists and spread out its values and history worldwide. With 2 events in 2012 in Pasadena and Miami, and 6 events in 2013 in Pasadena, Sea Otter, New York, Beverly Hills, Miami, and Jerusalem Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia is becoming the largest cycling circuit for amateur riders.
As is, Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia has a record of 5 events between July 2012 and June 2013 and a total of 10-day Expo; reached over 10.000 riders and 100 exhibitors; has partnered with one of the largest USA cycling festival involving more than 50.000 people; was at the starting line of a free-traffic ride in NYC with more than 32.000 riders.
The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia events, are characterized by suggestive mass starts with Italian Opera music playing, exciting routes with some free-traffic sections, professional support on the road (course marking, technical support, well stocked aid stations, etc.), equipped and entertaining finish areas, 2-day Expo, and a joyful Italian atmosphere. If you cannot perceive any Italian taste and atmosphere while there, than it is not an original Gran Fondo! A Gran Fondo is a cycling experience that you will never forget where perceiving the authentic Italian taste.
Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia participants experience the atmosphere typically reserved for professional riders, within a fun “Italian style” environment. The whole experience will allow participants to challenge themselves and celebrate their accomplishments, while enjoying “La Dolce Vita”! Terrific courses, gourmet Italian Pasta Parties at the finish line, limited edition “Made in Italy” jersey, and some of the best Italian brands at the Expo.
Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia brings the top organization level and brand value of the Giro d’Italia into mass participation events addressed to all kind of cyclists who will experience a true and unforgettable “Italian” Gran Fondo.
Each Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia will have a timed course section, particularly, whether there are climbs, “Gran Premio della Montagna – GPM” competition will be held. Prizes will be awarded in all the different categories.
2013 Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia season includes:
- April 20th: Sea Otter Classic
- May 5th: Five Boro (New York City)
- June 2nd: Los Angeles – Pasadena
- October 11: Jerusalem
- November 5th: Beverly Hills
- November 10th: Miami-Coral Gables