June 22, 2014
The Gran Fondo is a celebrated tradition in Italian cycling culture. A Gran Fondo is a long distance cycling event, that while – not a race – is timed to provide some recognition to the top finishers. Gran Fondo Winthrop will take you deep into the North Cascades and dish out nearly 10.000′ of climbing!
June 22, 2014
Meet: The Barn
Start time: 8:00 am
Length: 80 miles total (32 pave – 48 gravel)
Note: Registration opens February 1st and closes June 19th. It is limited to 200 and is pre-registration only.
Warning! This ride is HARD and is intended for experienced cyclists. There will be approx 10,000′ of climbing and descending (which is A LOT), much of which is on rough Forest Service roads. It will likely be HOT as well.
Course map Check out the course map. Look at the elevation profile, miles, intersections…. it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it so you know where your at. Even better; you can down load it directly to your Garmin or smart phone.
What you get: You will receive a super cool limited edition Gran Fondo Winthrop souvenir, a well thought out, and well marked course to ride, well stocked aid stations to refuel at, and a meal to refuel post ride. We will also post the times of all finishers for bragging rights.
Route: The course is designed to give riders a glimpse of some very mountainous, out of the way parts of North Central Washington. In the spirit of remote and rustic Washington, much of the route is primitive Forest Service roads. There will be four aid stations at approx. mile 14, 26, 48, and 63. These will also serve as bail out points. We will not have sag vehicles roaming the course so as to minimize the amount of traffic riders have to contend with on these mountain roads.
Gear: With so many variable course conditions it is hard to say what’s right or wrong. Road, cross, or mtb, any one will work, but all will have a disadvantage at some point. Personally I would use a cx bike with some beefy road tires. There will be LOTS of climbing so plan accordingly. There will be a few sag wagons and an aid station, but it’s a good idea to be somewhat self sufficient. Weather is always something to consider with this type of ride. It will likely be hot, but high in the mountains anything can happen. Bring on the adventure baby!
Where to stay in Winthrop? Pine Near RV Park of course! Super friendly and right in town. Not to mention this is where the finish line is located.
As Executive Director of Recreation Northwest, Todd Elsworth promotes outdoor recreation and brings community together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. His decades of extensive event production, marketing and writing experience propel this passion. You might bump into him and his daughter Violet while they’re biking, hiking, paddling or skiing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.