Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gran Fondo Deadline (for cheap seats)

Just 4 More Days!
ntry before January 15th is just $25 with a fund-raising minimum of only $125.

Entry goes up to $50 if you register before March 15th and $75 if you register after March 15th....so you better sign up before next Friday.

What is a Gran Fondo? A Gran Fondo derived its origin in Italy and is commonly translated "Big Ride". In Europe these are mass start rides, often honoring a former renowned bike racer like Eddy Merckx, attract up to 10,000 riders of all types. True European fondos are like races for the masses, sometimes with full road closures - a cool concept but not practical in America. Moreover, racing alone is not what all American cyclists want. They do want a timed challenge but also the experience and fanfare of riding a stage in the Tour de France and they love doing it for a cause.

Is this event for racers or recreational riders? Both. We time the whole event as well as epic hill climbs. Whether you are riding to win in your category or just trying to hit a new PR, there is an exciting challenge for everyone, not to mention a great experience on some of the most scenic rides in the country. Racers - yes, Spandex - yes, Tri Geeks - yes, Weekend Warriors - yes.

If I am a licensed racer, do I have to get tied up with the masses? No, see race categories and seeding under FAQ.

Will professional riders be there? Yes, as hosts and ambassadors of their sponsors and cycling but not to race.

How does the timing work? Each participant in the 60 and 100-mile options will get a timing chip similar to what the pro riders get in the Tour de France. Riders are timed from start to finish as well as during an epic timed hill climb section—usually about 15-20 miles with a KOM. Prizes will be awarded to top finishers by age and category as well as teams. Your chip and mounting instructions are included in your Echelon packet at registration. Your official time starts when you cross the start line and runs continuously until you cross the finish line. Timing does not stop at rest stops. Intermediate timing points are recorded on hill climbs and key positions on the course. You do not have to finish the entire ride to get a hill climb time. Results will be posted at the finish line and at www.Echelongranfondo.org.

Is it a mass start? Yes, riders will be seeded or arranged by age and category. The first 15 miles or so will be neutral and casual until the timed section begins.

What happens after the Echelon Gran Fondo is over? A party! Awards, a festival, great music and food. Regardless if you fundraise for our cancer constituents, this event is also about you. Stick around for a great party when the ride ends.

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