Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gran Fondo New York, Part II

We initially wrote about the Gran Fondo New York back in June, 2010, when it was newly announced. Planning for the event, which is scheduled for May 8, 2011 has proceeded and registration is now open. Registration is $195.00.

Below is the latest information taken from the event website, . I notice that no significant sponsors appear to have signed on to the event as of yet. This, I imagine, could be problematical as organizing an event of this scope in New York City and beyond is a very expensive proposition.

"Gran Fondo New York brings Italian cycling culture to the world’s greatest city. The inaugural Gran Fondo New York is set to take place on Sunday, May 8, 2011, starting at 6:30am. The 106-mile/171-km professionally managed event will feature the excitement of starting in New York City, four timed climbs, one of which is Bear Mountain, beautiful scenery, charming towns and the camaraderie of group cycling.

Background: Gran fondo is a challenging, 100+ mile bike race, a concept stemming from Italy. You can think of it as a marathon on bicycles. In NYC, there are long-course bike tours or short-course criterium races. Here is where Gran Fondo New York is different: it is a long-distance challenging ride that appeals to competitive racers and recreational cyclists alike. In Italy, a gran fondo has 1,000 to 10,000 participants, covers at least 100 miles and goes over challenging terrain. In France and the UK, this style of racing is known as cyclosportives.

Course: The undulating terrain of the course will challenge participants’ strength and stamina with 5,600ft/1,700m of climbing. The Gran Fondo New York course will take the 8,000 cyclists from New York City to New Jersey across the iconic George Washington Bridge with stunning views of Manhattan. Riders will follow the Hudson River upstream on Route 9W and nearby rural roads and after 50 miles, arrive at Harriman State Park. The four-mile climb up Bear Mountain will serve as the turn around point for the cyclists. After descending, the course will wind its way back to New York City.

Climbs: While the climb up Bear Mountain is the featured climb, there are three other challenging climbs that will also be timed. Participants can measure themselves against the world's finest cyclists, teammates and friends. But the event is a great experience for recreational cyclists as well, with each participant choosing their own speed at which to complete the event.

Support: Throughout the day, medical and mechanical support will be stationed along the course for anyone in need of assistance. Volunteers will be present on the course at any turn on the course to direct participants. Volunteers on motorbikes will be circling the course as well, ready and able to help anyone in need. Along the route, participants will enjoy well-stocked rest stops. A great post-race party will await participants at the finish line.

Expo: On May 7, 2011, the Gran Fondo New York expo will be held. The expo will have vendor booths from sponsors and exhibitors, where participants will be able to check out the latest gear, apparel, nutrition, and many other products and services. Each cyclist is required to personally pick up their registration packet on Saturday, May 7 between 8am and 8pm.

Prizes: The ride up Bear Mountain and three more challenging climbs will be timed. Winners of various categories receive great prizes, including a special winner's jersey. After the race, prizes will be awarded to fastest overall participants, across age groups, cycling team, corporate challenge team and Lui+Lei (him+her) categories. Throughout the awards ceremony, raffle prizes will be distributed. Please refer to the FAQ on our website for more information.

Entry Fee: The entry fee for each participant is $195. Included in the entry fee is a professionally designed cycling jersey, which is mandatory apparel for the event. The event goodie bag, "pacco gara" will contain various products from the event sponsors. If you've registered but are unable to participate, you may transfer your spot to someone else for a $50 transfer fee by April 15, 2011. Eventbrite fees and credit card processing fees are third party fees, Gran Fondo New York, Inc. is not responsible for third party fees.

Travel Booking: Gran Fondo New York is working with travel agencies in Italy, Germany, UK, Ireland, Australia, France, Spain, Bermuda and South Africa. Please check the Gran Fondo New York website for travel partners. All athletes have the option to register directly and handle their own travel. Or they can book their travel and registration through an official GFNY travel partner in their region.

Team Competition: If you are cycling for a team in GFNY, please make sure that each teammate writes the name of the team in the exact same way to be easily matched up in our records. A team name can be a cycling team, a corporate challenge team, a him+her team or a tandem bicycle. Tandem bicycle teams are not eligible for prizes.

Cycling Team and Corporate Challenge: Top 4 finishers in a team will count towards the competition. All members of a cycling or corporate team (not the him+her team or tandem bicycle) are eligible for individual overall and age group prizes. Only the winning cycling team and corporate challenge team (not top 3 teams) will be awarded prizes. If you are a member of a corporate challenge team, please make sure you select the Corporate Challenge category. If you are a member of a club in your home town, but don't expect three clubmates to join you, you could still write the name of your club as the team name. However, only teams with at least 4 members will be counted towards the team and corporate challenge competitions. The Corporate Challenge is for employees or relatives of employees of the same company.

Him+Her Team: A female and male rider have to start and finish each of the four climbs within thirty seconds of each other. Because it's tough to find two riders of the same ability and fitness, pushing, pulling, dragging, encouraging, screaming, shouting and any other means of working together is allowed. The him+her team competition consists of two age categories: sub-80 and 80+ years old combined.

Event Jersey: Please refer to the below size chart to determine the correct size for your cycling jersey, which is included in your entry fee and mandatory apparel for the event. The jersey is European sizing, which is usually one size smaller than American sizing. If you usually wear an American medium, select a large today. The jerseys are unisex. If you are a woman and usually wear an American medium, then select a medium today.
Jersey size XS S M L XL XXL XXXL
chest size (inches) -33" 34–35" 36–37" 38–40" 41–43" 44–45" 46"+

We'd like to thank Eventbrite for being our official race registration provider.

Do you have questions that weren't answered here? Send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!"

Photo: the George Washington Bridge spanning New York and New Jersey with view of New York City skyline; the bridge would have lane closures as riders cross.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi

    Thanks for the plug! I check your blog several times a week.

    Regarding sponsors: good things take time. The interest in partnering with GFNY is massive. That said, we're only interested in the right fit. As we speak, we are finalizing the first bunch of partnerships. We already announced on our Facebook page ( ) that LIMAR is in the boat (love the light helmets!). Podiums of ALL category will receive LIMAR helmets and shades! And that's just the start. Much more prices yet to be announced.

    Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

    Thanks again!

    CEO Gran Fondo New York