Florida celebrates the return of Gran Fondo Cycling in the USA!

All smiles for nearly 600 cyclists who experienced a fun and safe Fondo outdoors around San Antonio last weekend!

After the success of the indoor E-Fondo Series by Colnago Gran Fondo National Series on the RGT platform, Series organizers and sponsors were eager to welcome nearly 600 cyclists to the first in-person, outdoor event of the 2021 season at Gran Fondo Florida. Indicative of the pent up demand for outdoor events, participation increased more than 75% over the 2019 edition of the event.

Race director Reuben Kline explained the Series’ timed-segment format is perfect for conducting a safe, fun, socially-distanced cycling experience. “With timed-segment competitions, your start-to-finish time doesn't matter, and you don't have to ride in a big group to stay in contention. Only your combined times through designated timed segments count toward the standings. So, participants can spread out and ride in small groups, in a socially distanced, COVID safe manner,” he said.

San Antonio, Florida is a small town in the Central Florida countryside, about an hour outside of Tampa. Thanks to a partnership with Volvo, Tampa-area riders were able to take advantage of a special packet pickup opportunity at Volvo Cars in Tampa on Saturday, where they could also check out the new Volvo models. Volvo-driving NRS & Events mechanics provided mechanical support out on-course, at the start and at aid stations throughout the weekend to keep cyclists pedalling and enjoying the scenery.

Volvo-driving NRS & Events mechanics provided mechanical support out on-course

On race day, packet pickup was also available at VO2max Cycles in San Antonio, which is located just feet from the start/finish line. 

On race day, packet pickup was also available at VO2max Cycles in San Antonio,

Much to the delight of participants, the crew at Volvo Neutral Race Support also had everyone’s pre-ride dialled, as they served up Jittery Joe’s Coffee on Sunday morning before the start of ride!

Volvo Neutral Race Support also had everyone’s pre-ride dialled, as they served up Jittery Joe’s Coffee on Sunday morning before the start of ride!

Rider Safety

The 8th edition of the popular Gran Fondo Florida used its socially distanced event format, which utilized start waves of 25 riders at a time. Riders reserved a start wave time during the registration process. Participants and staff followed safety protocols throughout the duration of the event, which included wearing face masks at sign-in and at feed stations. Aid stations included hand sanitizing stations, crew with masks and gloves and single-serve food and beverages. High-touch areas and surfaces were cleaned frequently, and participants followed physical distancing protocols to receive food and water to ensure practice of physical distancing protocols.

The Ride Experience

he 8th edition of the popular Gran Fondo Florida used its socially distanced event format

While Gran Fondo Florida is often referred to as the “easiest” event of the Colnago Gran Fondo National Series, a view based on total elevation gain, the nonstop rolling hills made it arguably the hardest Gran Fondo in Florida, with riders noting it was a challenging course.

Professional chip timing kept track of riders out on course and allowed riders to compete for the best combined time through up to 4 timed sections on route. Cyclists chose from 3 distances: the 36-mile Piccolo Fondo (1,131 feet climbing) with one timed section, the 55-mile Medio Fondo (1,852 feet climbing) with 3 timed sections and the 96-mile Gran Fondo (2,706 feet climbing) for 4 timed sections to suit all abilities.  The timed section format has the added benefit of allowing riders to enjoy their chosen route, ride safely in the company of others and enjoy a bit of healthy competition.

Nutrition and hydration products included products from sponsors including Hammer Nutrition and Bonk Breaker.

Nutrition and hydration products included products from sponsors including Hammer Nutrition and Bonk Breaker.

Photo: @citius101  - "96 miles at the Florida Gran Fondo. Believe it or not, we got 3,500 ft. of elevation”

@citius101  - "96 miles at the Florida Gran Fondo. Believe it or not, we got 3,500 ft. of elevation”

What Riders Had to Say

Both the rider safety procedures and the timed-segment format proved to be very popular, and cyclists are eager to return to the roads and put this pandemic behind them! With the vaccination program in the US accelerating, Series organizers are looking forward to welcoming more riders to the start line.

What Riders Had to Say

Marcos Magalhaes from Pembroke Pines who rode the Medio Fondo commented, “Great event, safe, and very well organized. Thank you to all involved. Definitely coming back, with more people from S. FL. Congrats!”

A super smiling Stacy Creamer from New York said at the finish line, “Fantastic event! So well organized. Great course. And such nice people--both Gran Fondo staff and riders. Definitely hope to come back next year. Thank you SO much!”

Fantastic event! So well organized. Great course. And such nice people--both Gran Fondo staff and riders.

Silvia Galea won the Women's Overall title with the fastest combined time of 37m 32s, an average speed of nearly 26mph. Estefania Montoya placed a very close second place, with Debora Finger in third place.

Justin Bolde won the Men’s Overall title, completing the four timed sections in the fastest time of 33m 13s, an average speed of just over 29mph, ahead of Ken Vida in second and Garret Reel in third place.

Prize Raffle

The popular Colnago Gran Fondo National Series Raffle was held virtually after the podium awards. Prizes from Series sponsors included: Hyperice Hypervolt, Industry Nine hubset, components from Cane Creek, Swiftwick socks, Shimano products, a Lazer helmet, Wahoo Kick Snap trainer, a holiday at Garda Bike Hotel in Italy, as well as other prizes.

Raffle Prize winners:

Hyperice Hypervolt – Marcella Toldi

Garda Bike Hotel (4 night stay) - Jay Trojan

Bikeflights – John Barkyoumb

Bikeflights – Mark Miller

Lazer Helmet – Raul Velazquez

Cane Creek – Marcus Rocha

Industry Nine Hubset – Estefania Montoya

Shott Performance coaching -  Enrial Enriquez and Stacy Creamer

Shimano – Debora Finger

Wahoo Kicker Snap – Joe Ronzano

DNA Cycling mid pack attack kit winner - JOHN RIVARA

96-mile Gran Fondo Winners

Custom “Race Winner” cycling kits by DNA cycling were awarded to all Gran Route age group category winners

Overall Men’s
1st Justin Bolde
2nd Ken Vida
3rd Garret Reel

Overall Women’s
1st Silvia Galea
2nd Estefania Montoya
3rd Debora Finger

Women 23-34
1st Silvia Galea
2nd Estefania Montoya
3rd Anahi Amado

Men 23-34
1st Justin Bolde
2nd Garrett Reel
3rd Andres Vargas

Women 35-44
1st Debora Finger
2nd Marcella Toldi
3rd Jelineth Triana

Men 35-44
1st Owen Shott
2nd Javier Luzardo
3rd Jean Palau

Women 45-54
1st Clarena Moreno
2nd Rosa Laura Saggese Elbooz
3rd Kristine Claffie

Men 45-54
1st Ken Vida
2nd Raul Velazquez
3rd Rafael Carrillo

Women 55-64
1.    Andrea Hadba
2.    Jean Morrissey
3.    Wrenn Herman

Men 55-64
1st Charlie Livermore
2nd Jay Trojan
3rd Tim Bradley

Women 65+
1st Leslie Cavall

Men 65+
Mauricio Mosquera


55-mile Medio Fondo Winners

Women U23
1st Melsey Perez

 

Women 23-34
1st Ashley Bernal

Men 23-34
1st Jonathan Tardif

2nd Rafael Lohner

3rd Leandro Tomaschitz

Women 35-44
1st Michelle Reynolds

2nd Melinda Smith

3rd Rebecca England

Men 35-44
1st Ismael Galicia

2nd Gustavo Piccinini

3rd Rafael Garcia

Women 45-54
1st Shannon Raddin

2nd Tina Vornheder

3rd Ana Marcano

Men 45-54
1st Paul Yettaw
2nd Jon Plummer

3rd Matthew Shrader

Women 55-64

1st Madeleine Vergauwen

2nd Robin Pomeranz

3rd Doreen Pomeranz

Men 55-64
1st Robert Stuart

2nd Bobby Cardozo

3rd Michael Cotter

Women 65+
1st Diana Correa

2nd Alexandra Danforth

3rd Renee Coates

Men 65+
1st Steve Renner

2nd John Leach

3rd David Sikes


36-mile Piccolo Fondo Winners


 

 

Men U23
1st Jacob Weiner

 

Women 23-34
1st Michelle Valencia

Men 23-34
1st Spencer Horst
2nd Elliot Horst
3rd Jonathan Funes

 

Men 35-44
1st Alexandre Dib
2nd Ivor Quilab
 

Women 45-54
1st Ana Luiza Chaves
2nd Leslie Caromile
 

 

Men 45-54
1st Joe Kennard
2nd Saj Guevara
3rd Turi Lotar

Women 55-64

1 Melissa Taylor

2 Cathie Smith

3 Leila Palatnik

Men 55-64
1st Michael Odom
2nd Pierre Beaulieu
3rd Alec Bradlow

 

Women 65+
1st Claudia Schmook

2nd Joy Ray
3rd Beck Beaulieu

 

Men 65+
1st Jim Allen
2nd Steve Cryer
3rd Forrest Coleman

 

 

 

 

Race director Reuben Kline commented “Thank you to all the riders who joined us for Gran Fondo Florida on Sunday, and congratulations to our male and female overall winners: Justin Bolde and Silvia Galea”

This event raised funds for Pasco County SRO Explorer Program. The School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit is composed of two squads that provide law enforcement services to schools countywide. The SRO Explorer Program provides services for those aged 14-21.

Complete results, including age groups and all split times are available at https://www.granfondonationalseries.com/2021

Next Up: The TT1 Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo!

Mark your calendar for this in-person event on April 18, 2021 in Helen, Georgia

Helen, Georgia - the start and finish town for the TT1 Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo - brings the charm of a Bavarian village to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy Alpine Bavarian food and drink as you explore historic timbered building and cobblestone walkways, surrounded by natural beauty, wineries, artisan tours, festivals, and much, much more.

With rolling farmland transitioning to mountainous terrain, the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, and a section of the Appalachian Trail, White County is an outdoor recreation paradise.

Photo: Helen, Georgia

Helen, Georgia brings the charm of a Bavarian village to the Blue Ridge Mountains.


From 2003–2008, the Tour de Georgia attracted the worlds top professional cycling teams to Georgia for a premier 7-day stage race. The TT1 Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo retraces portions of stages from the race, through Helen, into the Unicoi State Park, and the nearby iconic climbs, made famous by the Tour de Georgia.

Register NOW to Secure a Place!

Registration is open - but you'll need to hurry to secure a place on this epic challenge across north Georgia's Appalachian Mountains

For more information, please visit: https://www.granfondonationalseries.com/gran-fondo-georgia

 
Tag: granfondonationalseries
 
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