Gran Fondo cycling race returns to Asheville July 18

Press release from the Gran Fondo National Series:

On Sunday, July 18, the Colnago Gran Fondo National Series will hold the annual Gran Fondo Asheville cycling event, starting and finishing in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. The event is expected to bring 1,000 cyclists to the area to ride one of three area road routes. Riders who qualified at earlier events will also be competing for the official USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship.

The Gran Fondo Asheville event has a long history of working with local businesses and partners, along with the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission. The event will start and finish outside of The Twisted Laurel downtown, which is also hosting the post-ride party for all participants. The Sourwood Inn has offered a special prize the to the fastest male and female cyclists on a timed segment of Elk Mountain Scenic Highway. Local outdoor equipment companies Cane Creek and Industry Nine are sponsoring aid stations on the course where riders can replenish themselves with food and water. Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) will have a Recovery Zone at the finish area so rides can relax in hammocks. And there will be a beer garden for riders, sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery.

The Colnago Gran Fondo National Series partners with local non-profits in each of the eight communities where Series events are held. In the Asheville area, the Series supports Asheville on Bikes, which cultivates the culture of urban and commuter cycling through advocacy and celebration, and believes cycling has direct benefit to the health of the community.

Cyclists will depart from The Twisted Laurel between 8:00-8:30am to ride their choice of a 100-, 60-, or 30-mile route (view route maps) that takes them into the hills and valleys northwest of Asheville. The unique ‘timed segment’ competition format of Colnago Gran Fondo National Series events largely eliminates the need for road closures. Roads that comprise the cycling routes will remain open to car traffic and both cyclist and drivers are asked to exhibit grace and patience as they share the roads for the day.

Volunteer positions are still available. Groups or individuals who want to help riders have a great experience at Gran Fondo Asheville can volunteer in a variety of areas, including course marshal, registration, and aid stations. Volunteers will receive a complementary entry to another Series event (or the 2022 Gran Fondo Asheville), an event t-shirt, and lunch. Information on volunteering.

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