Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gran Fondo Moab

More gran fondo news from the USA: the new Gran Fondo Moab, will be held in Moab, Utah on Saturday, May 1, 2010. There are also road and mountain bike cycling activities planned for Sunday, May 2nd, so that you can plan a nice weekend in Moab. From the event website:

"The Gran Fondo Moab will be emulating an old Italian tradition. We will be riding the most spectacular mountain pass in the Manti-La Sals, widely known as the Loop Road. We will start and finish in the beautiful red rocks of Moab, Utah and will climb over 5500 feet in 60 miles. This route may not be big in distance but it is truly a memorable ride if not downright epic. You will not find the spectacular views and terrain this course has to offer in many events anywhere. The Gran Fondo Moab route is what will make this event memorable.

For 2010 the Gran Fondo Moab will only have one route. In future years we will have shorter distances.

This cycling event will not be run as a sanctioned race, as a majority of the riders will be participating for the enjoyment of riding a signed route through beautiful scenery with their friends and teammates. That said, as any serious cyclist knows, there is also satisfaction with not only completing an epic ride but with comparing your times with other riders afterward. We will ensure that all riders receive an accurate time and placing for their efforts. Safety is paramount on this ride, as we will be riding open, narrow, mountain roads.

The Gran Fondo Moab will have a mass start with overall results and results broken up by age groups. The route will have something for everyone with its steep climbs and rolling hills, flat sections and gorgeous scenery. This will be a cycling event that you will remember. Come join us!

About the La Sal Mountains…
The La Sal Range (or La Sal Mountains) is located in Grand and San Juan counties, near the eastern border of the state of Utah, and rising above the town of Moab. This range is part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest and the southern Rocky Mountains. The maximum elevation is at Mount Peale, reaching 12,721 feet (3,877 m) above sea level. The range contains three clusters of peaks separated by passes. The peaks span a distance of about 18 miles (25 km). The name of the range dates to Spanish times, when the Sierra La Sal (meaning the “Salt Mountains”) were a prominent landmark on the Old Spanish Trail between Santa Fe and Los Angeles.

The La Sal Mountain Loop Road features an amazing variety of canyon country scenery. The 60-mile long route follows the Colorado River for a while, then it heads to the La Sal Mountains through beautiful Castle Valley. The route through La Sals provides incredible views of the 12,000+ foot peaks and the red rock valleys far below. Finishing the loop takes one back to Moab via Spanish Valley Drive."

All the event details can be found at

Photos: event logo, road through Castle Valley

I have updated the USA gran fondo calendar, which will now number 17 events for 2010, here. Last year there were 2.

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  1. Grand Fondo riders and attendees! Welcome to Moab. In May, the Colorado River will present world-class opportunities for rafting. Ever Desire Grand Canyon rafting? Moab's nearby Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park will rumble with 28 Grand Canyon style rapids over 100 miles of the Colorado River from Moab to Lake Powell. In May, the advantage is this stretch can be completed in One Long Day! Then check rafting the Colorado River (Grand Canyon style) off your life list. (Longer, camping trips are also available. Grand Canyon's shortest trip is 6 days camping.)

  2. It will be interesting to see if these take off as true gran fondo-esque events, or are just using the italian word to create interest, and are nothing more than century events.

  3. JImm, I will be indeed interesting.