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2014

WINTER

All things GRAN FONDO & CAMPAGNOLO GRAN FONDO NEW YORK

NEW FOR 2014 NORTH AMERICA’S BIGGEST GRAN FONDO CHALLENGE


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TABLE of CONTENTS 4

GRAN FONDO SUPER PRESTIGE 2014 8

CAMPAGNOLO GRAN FONDO NEW YORK

10 GRANFONDO AXEL MERCKX OKANAGAN 12 RBC GRANFONDO BANFF 14 RBC GRANFONDO WHISTLER 16 GFNY ITALIA 18 GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE 20 GFNY COZUMEL 22

YOUR GRAN FONDO BIKE

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GROUP RIDE ETIQUETTE

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LOCAL CLIMB: COLLE DEL NIVOLET

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LA QUEBRANTAHUESOS

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A FACTORY VISIT AT SELLE SAN MARCO

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NORTH BY NORTHWEST - A UK RIDE

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GRAN FONDO SUPER PRESTIGE

Terry McDonald is Editor of CyclingWEST.com, a new website for road cyclists that covers mass participation events such as granfondos and centuries.

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FNY Magazine is launching the ultimate challenge in 2014 for road cyclists called the Gran Fondo Super Prestige (GFSP), a calendar of seven events that includes the premier long distance Gran Fondo events in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, there will be a new Gran Fondo in Italy

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and in Cozumel, Mexico, founded in association with Gran Fondo New York and featuring all the criteria for inclusion in the GFSP. These events have been selected by GFNY Magazine because they are the most difficult, largest and best organized “races” as well as the most scenic, most festive and the safest “rides” — in the true “race or ride” spirit of the best Italian Gran Fondos. An additional criterion for selection to the GFSP calendar is a standard of traffic management that enables riders to focus on a cycling challenge — like marathon runners and triathletes have done for decades — without interference from vehicles or stop signs or traffic lights. Riders who “race or ride” any one of these events


will face a significant challenge. Riders who complete three of these events will be recognized in GFNY Magazine and on the GFSP website as having attained GFSP Finisher status. Riders who complete more than three events will enjoy the additional bragging rights that The events are (by date): Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York, May 18 Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan, July 13 RBC GranFondo Banff, August 23 RBC GranFondo Whistler, September 6 GFNY Italia, September 21 Gran Fondo Hincapie, October 26 GFNY Cozumel, November 23 GFSP is an independent entity that does not create any affiliation among the events.

come from going “above and beyond”. The GFSP calendar was created by Uli and Lidia Fluhme, the founders and owners of the Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York. Uli is also the Publisher of GFNY Magazine. Fluhme said male riders have to complete the longest distance course at three events during 2014 to obtain GFSP Finisher status. Women can complete the longest or the second-longest course at a GFSP event in 2014 to qualify for GFSP Finisher status. GFSP is an independent entity that does not create any affiliation among the events, Fluhme said. Riders sign up for the events listed on the GFSP calendar on the event websites and are automatically in the running for GFSP. There is no separate GFSP registration. “With GFSP, we’re emulating the highly successful Prestigio series of our Italian sister magazine Bicisport,” said Fluhme. “I’ve followed the series since its inception in the 1990s and have participated in many Prestigio Gran Fondos. “What I love about Prestigio is that it’s not about winning a race which only a few riders will ever have a shot at. Instead, it’s about completing some of the toughest Gran Fondos out there. That in itself provides a challenge not to be underestimated and keeps riders motivated to train all year.” Fluhme describes a Gran Fondo as “a marathon for cyclists. It’s an event where riders get a chance to take on a cycling challenge, like runners and triathletes have done for decades over long distances, without stopping at stop signs or traffic lights while having a chance to do their best.” Events in the GFSP calendar are following the concept of a true Gran Fondo and its three key elements: police giving cyclists the right of way at every intersection, individual chip timing and rankings based on time, and a challenging course. In addition, all events listed on the GFSP calendar meet a size requirement to be considered Super Prestige — at least 500 riders in the long-distance option and a total of at least 1,000 riders in the long and medium distance options. ● 5


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JULY 13

AUGUST 23

SEPTEMBER 6

MAY 18

OCTOBER 26

NOVEMBER 23

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2014 MAY 18 | CAMPAGNOLO GRAN FONDO NEW YORK | NEW YORK, NY, USA | GRANFONDONY.COM JULY 13 | GRANFONDO AXEL MERCKX OKANAGAN | PENTICTON, B.C., CANADA | GRANFONDOAXELMERCKX.COM AUGUST 23 | RBC GRANFONDO BANFF | BANFF, ALBERTA, CANADA | BANFF.GRANFONDOCANADA.COM SEPTEMBER 6 | RBC GRANFONDO WHISTLER | VANCOUVER TO WHISTLER, B.C, CANADA | RBCGRANFONDOWHISTLER.COM SEPTEMBER 21 | GFNY ITALIA | TERRACINA, LAZIO, ITALY | GFNYITALIA.COM OCTOBER 26 | GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE | GREENVILLE, SC, USA | GRANFONDOHINCAPIE.COM NOVEMBER 23 | GFNY COZUMEL | COZUMEL, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO | GFNYCOZUMEL.COM

GFSP IS AN INDEPENDENT ENTITY THAT DOES NOT CREATE ANY AFFILIATION AMONG THE EVENTS.

SEPTEMBER 21

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CAMPAGNOLO GRAN FONDO NEW YORK CAMPAGNOLO GRAN FONDO NEW YORK MAY 18, 2014 (4TH ANNUAL) NEW YORK CITY, NY GRANFONDONY.COM

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ampagnolo Gran Fondo New York has become one of the world’s leading non-professional cycling events as measured by three of the criteria that riders use to measure such events — the option to race or ride, the challenge of the course and the overall experience provided to participants. The event has two distance options — the GFNY 100 has a 100-mile/160 kilometer course (with 8,000 feet/2,400 meters of climbing) and the GFNY Bear has a 50-mile/80 km course (with 3,000 feet/900 m of climbing). Both distances start on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge (that spans the Hudson River between Manhattan, NYC and Fort Lee, NJ) then head north along rolling roads up the scenic Hudson River Valley with a setting so rural it is difficult to believe it is only a bike ride away from the largest, most exciting city in the U.S. GFNY Bear 50 is a special one-year non-competitive event celebrating the 100th anniversary of Bear Mountain State Park. Riders follow the GFNY 100 course all the way to the turnaround at the top of Bear Mountain, then descend to the 50-mile/ 80-km point where buses and trucks will transport them and their bikes to the finish. GFNY was founded and is organized by Uli and Lidia Fluhme, as CEO and President, respectively. Uli and Lidia left legal and financial careers to combine two of their life passions — granfondos and New York. Uli is a German-born former road racer, has ridden granfondos for 15 years and briefly competed as a professional triathlete, completing the Ironman in 8:59. Lidia is a long-time New Yorker and has competed at Hawaii Ironman seven times, with a personal best time of 10:22. A month after the 2014 Campagnolo GFNY, Uli and Lidia will compete as a team in the 2014 Schwalbe

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LIDIA FLUHME, PRESIDENT CAMPAGNOLO GRAN FONDO NEW YORK At GFNY, we provide the true granfondo experience, like a marathon on bikes. Cyclists of all abilities take on the same course together, with racers at the front trying to win, cyclists in the middle of the field aiming for their personal best and riders at the back are giving it their best to finish within the cut-off. It’s an event where riders get a chance to take on a cycling challenge, like runners and triathletes have done for decades over long distances, without stopping at stop signs or traffic lights while having a chance to do their best. To make this happen in New York, over 200 police officers close the roads for car traffic or moderate car traffic. We close the world’s busiest bridge to get the cyclists out of NYC. It’s a monumental effort but it’s an essential aspect of the event to provide cyclists the right of way to enable them to take on Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York.

Tour TransAlp seven-stage 514-mile/822-km road race over the Alps (62,000 ft/ 19,000 m of climbing) from Mittenwald, Germany to Arco, Italy, one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world. Campagnolo GFNY draws riders from around the world. In 2013, riders came from more than 70 countries and 48 U.S. states. “New York City is a big draw and what could be better than combining the excitement of the capital of the world with riding and racing your bike,” says Uli. A challenging course is critical component of a granfondo. “New York State doesn’t have the Dolomites so the climbs are, of course, shorter. But don’t be fooled. We scoured the area to find every hill that can be included in the route. The result is a relentless up and down that adds up to 8,000 feet of climbing,” says Uli. The course’s single greatest climbing challenge and the Cima Coppi (highest point of the event) is Bear Mountain (referred to by its Italian name “Montagna dell‘Orso”), a 4-mile/6-km climb with pitches exceeding 10% encountered inside Bear Mountain State Park at mile 41/km 65.5. Other notable climbs are Colle Andrea Pinarello (Gate Hill Road) at mile 55 and Colle Formaggio (Cheesecote mountain) at mile 67. Colle Andrea Pinarello was named after the late Andrea Pinarello who was a friend and supporter of GFNY and rode in the 2011 event three months before his death at a bike race in Italy. ● 9


GRANFONDO AXEL MERCKX OKANAGAN 2014

GRANFONDO AXEL MERCKX OKANAGAN JULY 13, 2014 (4TH ANNUAL) PENTICTON, B.C., CANADA GRANFONDOAXELMERCKX.COM

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miles) and a two-km hill climb competition (incline of 6% to 8%) on Peach Orchard Drive at the 22-km/14mile point of each event. The major climbing challenge on the granfondo course begins at the 100 km/62 mile point and rises 300 m/1,000 ft over 15 kms/9 miles. The first few miles of the climb are 2-3% but the final stretch is the 8% grind up Willowbrook Road with the sun beating down on the riders’ backs. Fortunately, local residents shower riders with their garden hoses on this pitch. “We generally gear our event for the novice-to-intermediate cyclists who just want to ride beautifully scenic routes in the Okanagan. But we know some riders take these granfondos a lot more seriously. And we try to cater to this as best we can,” says Jodi. Another key part of the success of this event is the history of Penticton and neighboring municipalities as hosts for 30 years of the Ironman Canada triathlon event. This history has produced hundreds of experienced volunteers as well as knowledgeable and cooperative community leaders. ●

PHOTOS: JARUSHA BROWN

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he Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (GFAMO) runs past the lakeside resorts and through the hills and vineyards of the arid Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia. Three distance options begin and end in downtown Penticton on the shore of Okanagan Lake and include many of the roads that are most popular with visitors who flock to this area for cycling vacations. The GFAMO is driven by the cycling passion of Axel Merckx, former Belgian professional cyclist and now a professional team manager, and his wife, Jodi, a former professional road cyclist and triathlete, who manages the event. The Merckx family has lived in the Okanagan Valley since Axel’s retirement from professional racing in 2007. Axel is the son of five-time Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx, who has travelled from Belgium to ride the GFAMO on two occasions. Among the celebrity riders in the 2014 event will be Clara Hughes, arguably Canada’s greatest Olympic athlete, who has won six medals in cycling and speedskating over multiple summer and winter Olympics. She has also won medals for Canada in the World Cycling Championships, the Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games. She retired from professional competition after the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. “Our goal has always been to provide an unparalleled, Europeaninspired cycling event that not only shows off the beautiful Okanagan, but also delivers a once-in-alifetime cycling experience,” says Jodi. The GFAMO has a Granfondo (160 kms/99 miles) (1,100 meters/3,600 feet of climbing), Mediofondo (92 kilometers/57 miles) and a Cortofondo (55 kms/34


JEFF PLANT, EVENT DIRECTOR GRANFONDO AXEL MERCKX OKANAGAN There are two attributes of the GFAMO that make it truly distinctive. The most important of these is that this is Axel’s event. He is intimately engaged with the entire process. Axel has a very clear vision of how he wants to share his passion. GFAMO isn’t just a ride, it is a get-away. The GFAMO experience is just as rewarding for nonriding friends and family as it is for the riders themselves. With beaches, touring, wineries, world class local produce, culinary delights, pampering, adventure and a relaxed local vibe, nobody wants to rush home.    We strive to find a balance in all aspects of the event that delivers a complete experience to each rider. The atmosphere in the finish area is a highlight to many — a magical blend of celebration, satisfaction and camaraderie.

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RBC GRAN FONDO BANFF 2014

RBC GRANFONDO BANFF AUGUST 23, 2014 (3RD ANNUAL) BANFF, ALBERTA BANFF.GRANFONDOCANADA.COM

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he RBC GranFondo Banff, with one distance option of 142 kilometers/89 miles and 1,250 meters/4,100 feet of climbing, is the only granfondo in North America that is fully contained within the boundaries of a national park. Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest and most visited national park, with more than 3.3 million visitors in 2012. About 42% of visitors are from Canada, while 35% are from the U.S. and 20% are from Europe. (In the U.S., the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most popular with 9.68 million visitors in 2012, while Grand Canyon National Park is the most visited in the West, with 4.42 million visitors in 2012, according to the U.S. National Park Service.) The RBC GranFondo Banff is a new style of event for Banff National Park and requires annual approval from the Parks Canada officials. “Parks Canada has a mandate and we wouldn’t expect anything less to ensure that the event is as complimentary to the Park as possible,” says Neil McKinnon, CEO and Co-Founder of GranFondo Canada, the event’s organizer. Occurring at a peak period for animal activity and tourism complicates the event’s logistics. In 2012, the event was reduced by almost 40 kms/25 miles because five grizzly bears were feeding near the course. In 2013, animal activity did not seriously impact the event, other than riders needed to cede right-ofway for several minutes to a herd of bighorn sheep that temporarily commandeered the road. (“I would have been faster but I had to wait for a herd of wild sheep,” is an explanation/excuse unique to this event.) The course begins in the Banff townsite, climbs 3 kms past Tunnel Mountain with pitches of 7%, then swings east for a loop around Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive past Two Jack Lake and one stretch of 7%. After the Lake Minnewanka loop at the 27-km mark, cyclists ride on Vermillion Lakes Road, then swing onto the Bow Valley Parkway at 36 kms. The Parkway is one of the iconic scenic roads in the Canadian Rockies, traveling alongside the Bow River with views of Mt. Ishbel and Castle Mountain on the north and Pilot Mountain and Mt. Temple on the south.

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The course follows the Parkway west over a gradual climb (interspersed with a series of 1-km climbs with pitches of 5%) all the way to the turnaround at Lake Louise at 86 kms, then returns back along the Parkway to the finish in the Banff townsite. ●


NEIL MCKINNON, CEO & CO-FOUNDER GRANFONDO CANADA RBC GRANFONDO BANFF “The RBC GranFondo Banff is in keeping with our values of creating unobtainiums, which are unique cycling fantasies for riders. In this case, it is a closed course in a national park. Virtually no cars during the whole event. And being in a national park, it is unique probably in the world. In 2012, we had to make course adjustments because of activity of grizzly bears and wolf packs. At the finish line, the power went out in the entire town of Banff because a raven flew into a transformer and blew it up. In 2013, the ride was paused because a herd of bighorn sheep was on the route. These are the type of interactions that go down to the essence of what cycling is all about — being one with the road, one with nature, one with fellow cyclists.”

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RBC GRAN FONDO WHISTLER 2014

RBC GRANFONDO WHISTLER SEPTEMBER 6, 2014 (5TH ANNUAL) VANCOUVER TO WHISTLER, B.C. RBCGRANFONDOWHISTLER.COM

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n one day a year, the RBC GranFondo Whistler transforms a scenic but crazy-busy highway into a safe and challenging cycling course running from Canada’s most beautiful big city to British Columbia’s largest mountain resort. The RBC GranFondo Whistler begins in the skyscraper canyon of downtown Vancouver, then travels through Stanley Park, over iconic Lion’s Gate Bridge and on to the Sea-to-Sky Highway and the finish in the Whistler ski resort (and summertime outdoor and golfing mecca). The granfondo distance is 122 kilometers/76 miles with 1,700 meters/5,600 feet of climbing. The first challenge begins at the 6-km/4-mile mark as riders climb 170 meters/560 feet with pitches of 6% from sea level up to the Sea-to-Sky Highway.

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A 55-km/34-mile medio distance option begins at the 67-km mark along the 122-km/76-mile granfondo course in the community of Squamish. At Squamish, the Sea-to-Sky Highway leaves behind the ocean panoramas of Howe Sound and climbs 700 meters/2,300 feet up the valley to Whistler with views of Mt. Garibaldi and Black Tusk peaks. A new option for 2014 is the Forte 152 km, in which a maximum of 500 riders can choose to add 30 kms/18.6 miles and 800 meters (2,600 feet) of climbing to the granfondo distance. Organizer GranFondo Canada says that although the RBC GranFondo Whistler 122-km course offers a significant challenge with 1,700 meters/5,600 feet of climbing, there was room to intensify. “Since we can easily have one of the tougher routes,


we thought we’d see if people were keen for a granfondo 152-km/94-mile version including one of the longest and toughest climbs of any granfondo event in Canada,” says Neil McKinnon, CEO and Co-Founder of GranFondo Canada. (The 152-km/94-mile version has a total of 2,500 meters/ 8,200 feet of climbing.) The 500 Forte riders will start in downtown Vancouver one hour before the riders in the 122-km granfondo. They will be escorted by police in a group along the granfondo route until they reach the road to Cypress Mountain Ski Resort. At that point, the neutral zone will end and riders can race or ride the 15 kms up to the lodge at the base of the ski lifts, then turn around for the descent. The Cypress Mountain road is a wide and smooth highway serving only the Ski Resort that yields scenic views of Vancouver and the entire region, including Vancouver Island across the Strait of Georgia. At the bottom, they will merge with the granfondo riders and head for Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky Highway. “We will try and work the timing so the leading Forte riders merge onto the granfondo course at about the same time as the leading riders in the granfondo,” says McKinnon. The first 12 kms of the Cypress climb have an average gradient exceeding 5% with major portions of 6% to 8%. These criteria match many of the epic category 1 climbs

of the Tour de France and the category 2 climbs of the Giro d’Italia professional stage races through the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites. GranFondo Canada is led by Neil and Co-Founder Kevin Thomson, who began thinking about the event back in 2007. They met their goal of launching the event in 2010, six months after the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. Neil and Kevin travel the world to ride a variety of mass endurance cycling events to ensure GranFondo Canada events reflect the best ideas to meet cyclists’ needs and fantasies. “We think people are taking up the sport because it’s fun. And the more bicycles you get together, the more fun it is. But when you get a lot of bikes riding the same course, then it is the responsibility of the event to make it as safe as possible. For us, that means minimizing traffic conflicts and giving bikes the priority on the roads,” says Neil. ●

NEIL MCKINNON, CEO & CO-FOUNDER GRANFONDO CANADA RBC GRANFONDO WHISTLER “The unique quality of RBC GranFondo Whister is about riding from downtown Vancouver to Whistler in a dedicated no-traffic lane on a highway that normally is virtually inaccessible by bicycle. That is what has captured people’s imagination and helped the RBC GranFondo Whistler to grow to be one of the premier granfondos in North America.”

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GFNY ITALIA GFNY ITALIA SEPTEMBER 21, 2014 (INAUGURAL) TERRACINA, LAZIO, ITALY GFNYITALIA.COM

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ith GFNY Italia, Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York is coming full circle back to the motherland. The GFNY team has partnered with Largo Sole Eventi, an experienced granfondo organizer and tour operator in central Italy, to bring the New York flavor to a granfondo in Italy. The event will be headquartered in Terracina, a small coastal town one hour south of Rome’s Fiumicino International airport. GFNY conducted a survey last summer asking what international destinations GFNY participants would like to visit for cycling, and Italy came in as the top destination. So what better way to kick off GFNY World series than with an Italian event. GFNY Italia also became part of the GFSP calendar to offer cyclists a European travel destination and to introduce Italians to the GFSP series. The Gran Fondo distance will be 136-km/85-miles with 2,400 meters/8,000 feet of climbing. A 102-km/60-mile with 1700m/5500ft climbing medio distance option will start at the same time and place but leave out parts of the Gran Fondo route.

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Passion for cycling and the sport’s heritage are deeply embedded in Italian life. However, Italy is not just the hotbed for pro races. Granfondos have existed in Italy for 40 years and provide amateurs opportunities to test themselves and do their best. With so many granfondos, it’s no wonder that Italians are the world’s best amateurs. However, what makes Italian cyclists stand out is not their power or handling skills, but rather their upbeat, friendly and humorous dispositions, even while grinding up a 15km / 9-mile hill. During the week prior to the event, there will be organized excursions to historical and cultural sights as well as to local food and wine producers. “GFNY Italia is a unique chance for our international Gran Fondo New York participants who want to experience a true Italian granfondo,” said Uli Fluhme, CEO of GFNY. “Nico Zoppo’s Largo Sole Eventi team will make sure that the granfondo is fun, challenging and safe. Plus, as a tour operator, Largo Sole will be able to offer travelers a magnificent cycling week. Unlike foreign guided bike tours in Italy, you’ll not only ride with locals, but also


eat like locals.” Terracina’s mild climate and literally hundreds of small, car-free roads provide the perfect setting for Italian pro teams during the winter training camps. However, September is when Terracina is in its best shape with summer tourists gone and with daytime temperatures still in the 80s and the Mediterranean Sea warm enough for swimming. Miles of flat roads, softly rolling hills and challenging climbs – Terracina’s surroundings provide it all. With Rome only an hour’s drive or train ride away, a day off the bike couldn’t be better. ● More information: www.gfnyitalia.com

NICO ZOPPO, CO-FOUNDER LARGO SOLE EVENTI GFNY ITALIA “GFNY Italia will be organized according to the quality standards of the best Italian granfondos. Participants will get a chance to ride from the sea to the mountains and back, passing remarkable sights - from the shadow of the Jupiter Anxur Temple to climbing Ausoni mountains, from beaches of Ulysses to the village of Sperlonga. During the week prior to the event, there will be organized excursions to historical and cultural sights as well as to local food and wine producers.”

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GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE OCTOBER 26, 2014 (3RD ANNUAL) GREENVILLE, SC GRANFONDOHINCAPIE.COM

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m/5,000 ft of climbing, including Syuka Mountain Road and the north side of Callahan Mountain, which is 1.6 km/1 mile rising 112 m/367 ft with a 7% grade. The piccolo distance is an ideal test for beginning cyclists or those easing into a relaxing post-season. It is 24 kms/15 miles and include the 1.5 km/.94 mile climb rising more than 103 km/ 338 ft at a 6.6% grade to Camp Old Indian. Piccolo is 15 miles/ 24 kms including Camp Old Indian climb up 103 meters over 1.5 km with a 6.6% grade. The Gran Fondo Hincapie event also has bike races for kids aged three to 12 with medals awarded to all riders, plus a 5K run traversing the cross country trails through the woods and beside the vineyards surrounding La Bastide where all events finish. â—?

PHOTOS: VELOIMAGES

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he Gran Fondo Hincapie starts and finishes in the countryside north of Greenville, SC and offers riders three distance options that traverse the Blue Ridge Mountains in full autumn foliage. These are the challenging and quiet roads on which professional star and three-time U.S. national road race champion George Hincapie honed his fitness over 19 seasons, including 17 years in the Tour de France. George and his brother, Rich, are the organizers and driving forces behind this event -- and they can still be seen regularly on these roads riding with their colleagues near their successful businesses, Hincapie Sportswear, based in Greenville, and Hotel Domestique, in Travelers Rest, 20 minutes north of Greenville. Riders at the Gran Fondo Hincapie also experience the peak of the annual Blue Ridge Mountain autumn color extravaganza: The deep reds of the dogwood, bright yellows of the hickory and birch, the maroon of the oak, and the many colors of the maple combine with the evergreen pine, fir, and spruce. The event’s granfondo distance is 128 kilometers/80 miles with 2,500 meters/8,200 feet of climbing on both sides of the North and South Carolina state border, including three difficult climbs: Syuka Mountain Road, 6.4 km/4 miles rising 553 m/1,800 ft with pitches exceeding 10%; Howard Gap, 2.2 km/1.4 miles rising 251 m/823 ft with pitches exceeding 11%; and Green River Cove, 3.9 km/2.4 miles rising 296 m/971 ft with pitches exceeding 10%. The medio distance is 80 kms/50 miles with 1500


RICH HINCAPIE, CO-FOUNDER GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE George and I are proud of the roads he used to train for the last 12 years preparing for the biggest races in the world. With the changing leaves, the good weather and the difficult climbs in the area, it becomes a unique combination for riders of all abilities. In addition, the ride begins and ends on our property with a full day’s festival including food, drinks, music and kids’ activities — all free to the public. Our vision is to not only show the riders a memorable experience, but also have the family share in a special day as well.

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GFNY COZUMEL GFNY COZUMEL - MEXICO NOVEMBER 23, 2014 (INAUGURAL) COZUMEL, MEXICO GFNYCOZUMEL.COM

FNY Cozumel is the first granfondo held in paradise. Cozumel is a tropical island in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, and close to the Yucatán Channel. Cozumel is a destination for its beaches, scuba diving and snorkeling. In 2009, Ironman Triathlon came to Cozumel and local residents embraced it wholeheartedly. Today, it is one of the key races of the Ironman circuit, attracting 3,000 athletes and their families from around the globe. GFNY Cozumel will be held one week before Ironman. “I did the inaugural Ironman Cozumel in 2009 and immediately fell in love with the island,” says Lidia Fluhme, President of Gran Fondo New York. “Cozumel’s warm

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climate, crystal clear sea water and friendly people make it the ideal early winter getaway. It’s an honor for us to host a GFNY event there.” There will be a 120-km / 75-mile Gran Fondo as well as a 60-km / 38-mile Medio Fondo. As with all GFSP events, roads will be closed to car traffic or have moderated traffic. The island is entirely flat but the wind provides the challenge. In other words: GFNY Cozumel is ideal for a late season event in combination with a family vacation. Cozumel has an international airport with direct flights from Dallas, TX and Miami, FL. Cancun’s international airport with direct flights from Europe and North America is only a 45-minute drive and scenic boat ride away. More information: www.gfnycozumel.com ●


SHAUN GAD, CO-FOUNDER GFNY COZUMEL The event will be organized by New York-born Shaun Gad who went to Cozumel for work fifteen years ago – and has lived there since. An active amateur racer himself, Shaun coordinates the event together with Cozumel’s tourism board. “Our goal here in Cozumel is to grow the island’s sports offerings. We now have a newly paved bike path that circumnavigates the island, which has further instilled Cozumel as an attractive destination for cyclists and their families,” says Shaun Gad, co-founder of GFNY Cozumel

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Your Gran Fondo Bike

THERE IS NOT ONE BIKE THAT SUITS ALL GRAN FONDO RACERS. BUT THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT YOU MAY WANT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING YOUR EQUIPMENT FOR THE CHALLENGE AHEAD. I’VE RACED GRAN FONDOS AROUND THE WORLD FOR 15 YEARS, WHICH HAS GIVEN ME MANY OCCASIONS TO EXPERIMENT WITH VARIOUS EQUIPMENT, PRODUCTS AND GEARING AND FIGURE OUT A GOOD FORMULA FOR DOING MY BEST. By ULRICH FLUHME

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GEARING Which gear ratio you need of course firstly depends on your fitness. Most American Gran Fondos, due to how the roads are constructed, don’t have the brutal long and steep climbs you’re confronted with in Italy so a standard 53/39 with 12-25 or 50/34 if you are more into spinning up the hills should be enough. If you’re racing in the Alps, you most likely will need something smaller than 39/25. Often, a compact 34/25 is enough but I have even seen elite racers choose 34/28 because they prefer a higher cadence for climbing. While using bigger gears may actually be slower in certain circumstances, I’ve found that I can climb anything with a 39/25. Being somewhat limited in easy gears has helped me to keep going on tough climbs at a decent pace. Some climbs are so long and steep (look up “Mortirolo”, “Zoncolan”) that they hurt no matter how small your gear is.

WHEELS One word: sturdy. Roads will inevitably be rough and full of potholes. Again, keep your main objective of finishing in mind. Brake performance is actually more important. Racing a 20k twisty descent in pouring rain on full carbon wheels is a terrifying (and deafening) experience. You absolutely need an aluminum brake surface. TIRES Last year I raced on a super smooth Vittoria tire. Unfortunately it was prone to flats and wore out after only a couple of hundred miles. This year, I’m back on something less smooth but very sturdy, Continental’s Grand Prix 4 Season. It may not roll as nice but its puncture resistance astonishes, which should be the main priority for us amateurs. I’ve been riding 23mm tires for what feels a lifetime (back when everyone rode 19mm) but I wouldn’t mind the up-and-coming 25mm, it’s worth considering them.

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TOOLS The essence of a Gran Fondo is to finish the full race. You may have hopes to PR, place well or even win but no matter what the day throws at you, the bare minimum goal should be to try to finish the race. Hence, you need to be prepared for the most common mechanicals. Gran Fondo rules require you to bring a spare tube and pump so these are no brainers. Just make sure that the valve is long enough for the rim and the pump can actually pump sufficient air pressure into the tire. Full frame pumps are pretty light and may be the better choice. I add to that a mini tool and self-gluing patches for that dreaded second flat. All this fits snugly in a cut open bottle that I store in the second bottle cage because I’m not a fan of either overloading my jersey or using a saddle bag. The bike handles differently if there is additional weight at the saddle versus weight that is lower to the ground and closer to the frame, like in the bottle cage on the seat tube.

BOTTLES Think volume, not looks, and choose something that you can open and close easily, maybe even when riding. That will tremendously shorten your nutrition stops. BAR There are many types of bar shapes on the market to satisfy everyone’s preference. But take a closer look at the various tapes on offer and consider double wrapping if you race lots on rough road surfaces. SADDLE You’re going to be sitting on it a long time so it shouldn’t hurt. Color, weight and appearance are an afterthought. Try different models until you are comfortable. Today, many saddles come with cut-outs which may seem logical to reduce pressure. However, the cut-out doesn’t reduce pressure, but rather re-assigns it to other areas. Cut-out saddles can actually be tougher to sit on because the contact area is smaller. Don’t listen to marketing, try various saddles to figure out what’s best for you. A good bike shop will have several test saddles for you to experiment with.

PICTURE: FOR 2014, GRUPPO SPORTIVO GFNY IS RIDING THE DE ROSA “GFNY” PROTOS EQUIPPED WITH CAMPAGNOLO. THE FRAMESET IS AVAILABLE AT GRANFONDONY.COM/SHOP. COMPLETE BIKES ARE BUILT EXCLUSIVELY AT STRICTLY BICYCLES IN FORT LEE, NJ.

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GROUP RIDE

ETIQUETTE »»» By HAYDEN JUDD

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t was a typical end-of-summer-day in Bournemouth, England. Cloudy, cold, a little wet – and frankly not very pleasant. Yet it was one of my most enjoyable days ever. This day in 2009 was my first ever group ride and it opened my eyes to what cycling really has to offer. It was an organized group ride in a little seaside town that someone in a local London bike shop had told me about, “A good weekend getaway” he had told me. So my fiancée and I decided to do just that, make a weekend trip out of it, with a ride for me and some relaxing time for her. But really, I had no idea what I was doing there and I had thrown myself in the deep end. I stood around waiting for the start, seeing most people knew each other and were in groups of friends. I had left my fiancée asleep at the hotel and was out there by myself. Seeing another lone guy making some last minute adjustments to his bike, I decided to make friends. Tom was his name, and after pleasantries, I subtly sought advice, without letting on I was a cycling greenhorn, about what to expect and how to approach this ride across the English countryside. “Find a group riding at a pace you are comfortable with, sit in with them and take your turn at the front,” Tom advised. “Sure of course, that was my plan, cheers,” I expressed with nonchalance. As the ride began, my nerves were bubbling out of control and I was, to be quite honest, very scared. The group seemed to naturally split into three, the fast boys and girls went off the front…and off I went after them. That didn’t last long. I did manage to stick with the second group though and was mightily proud of that. Well, for a matter of moments, until I was abruptly told, “Hold that wheel”. “Watch your line”. “Don’t tap those brakes”. “You need to do some work at the front”.

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Tom rode up next to me with a knowing look on is face and said “You’ve never done anything like this before, have you?” Group riding is not only one of the most rewarding ways of riding; it’s also your saving grace and best approach to Gran Fondos, sportives, century rides and races. But knowing how to effectively and safely ride in a group can be tough, especially if you have had limited experience. Usually no one will be so forward to tell you what to do in the middle of an event or ride. I was lucky that day in England; Tom took me under his wing. But if you aren’t that lucky, how do you know about pacelining in a group, where to position yourself, how to signal correctly, and how to take your turn at the front and peel off safely? Of course there are loads of articles on pack riding, and I recommend you read as many as you can. However, nothing beats getting out there and actually riding with a group. But seek some advice first. There will always be someone in your group that will be more than happy to help you, not just for your safety but also for the safety of the rest of the group. Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York has a great method to help you prepare for pack riding, with Gruppo Sportivo GFNY leading group rides every Sunday from December right through to the GFNY race day. These Gruppo Sportivo leaders (me included) provide group rides complete with training and tips. You could also attend a Pink Street Cycling camp for coaching, training and practice in all the disciplines needed for group riding. Here is how Tom helped me at my first group ride: “Okay, it’s Hayden right? First thing you need to know. This is not a race, and if it were, you’re not going to win it during this phase. When you go to the front to pull, don’t smash it; attacking the whole group will not make you any friends and likely it will drain you a bit and you might end up getting spit out the back after your pull. When you get up there, keep


it at the speed the group has set. If you can’t hold that pace, just peel off after a minute or two. No one will mind or likely even notice”. Got it. I mentally noted all of this. I was really scared thinking about my turn at the front – my pull. What if I couldn’t go that fast? What if I couldn’t hold it as long as the person before me? Relax, I urged myself, relax and get ready. Keep it steady. We rolled on with Tom next to me, my guide and savior. “Keep side by side with me, only a few centimeters (it was England, remember) between your handlebars and mine. No need to fit a bus between us. That’s it, handlebar to handlebar. Stay level like this and make your speed match mine. Nothing abrasive and nothing sudden. Trust that the person in front of you will do the same and we will all be safe.” He was pretty close to me! But he was right. They were like this all the way through the pack, holding close to each other and fluid, even through the corners. It was impressive. We were all keeping speed and rolling through the countryside as if one. “Hey, DUDE! Don’t half wheel. Keep your wheel behind hers at all times, slightly to one side of hers, but always behind.” I suddenly felt hot. And red.

“Don’t worry man, you’re getting it and you are a solid rider.” “Okay, we are next in line. We have to take a turn pulling. That’s the rules. When the two riders ahead of us peel off, we will come through to the front and pull the group along. If you do not want to ride at the front because you’re tired, it’s too late to avoid it now. Once you are in second wheel, you must come through to the front.” “No, I’m good.” I exclaimed with confidence. “Don’t speed up, and don’t get out of formation with me. Hold this speed steady, ride through the gap as they peel off and go to the front. Oh, and do me a favor, when they peel off, don’t slow down and look around as if you don’t know why on earth they are pulling off to the sides!” I liked Tom. I would have been lost without this guy, and I knew it. At the front, I felt so good and so strong, I wondered whether I maybe could have kept up with the guys at the front after all. We rolled on for a minute or two. “You’re fading Hayden, let’s peel off”. I was wrong, and I was suffering. I felt so good, but once at the front my energy drained quickly. At the front you do a lot more work and I was quick to realize why riding with a group is so good. There

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were 20 of us that day, and I was pretty excited upon realizing my next move was to go to the back and sit in whilst 9 other people took their pull and did the work. This was great! I grinned. Tom pulled off to the right, I went to the left and the pack rolled through as Tom gave me the ‘slow down’ motion with his hand. I got it; I could now take it easier and let the group come through at an even pace. I just about missed the back of the pack, but worked to make sure I got on. No worries. “Good work, if you ever get off the back, you are far better to work hard to get back on. You can always recover when you are back on. But if you get dropped, you will just be doing all the work by yourself”. “HOLE!!!” someone yelled. I just about wetted myself. BAM. I slammed into a pothole, my whole bike shuddering. Two of my dental fillings fell out, but I just about managed to keep control. “You all right?” Tom enquired. “Yeah, I’m good,” I uttered. Tom calmly and casually rode up to the guy who yelled, put his arm on his back and said something I couldn’t hear. Slotting back into formation next to me, Tom smiled and said, “Don’t learn from him.” We rode on at a comfortable, but quick pace, and I quickly learned what Tom was alluding to. Ahead of me, I saw the next three people point down at something on road; I followed their wheels and easily avoided another pothole. Tom looked at me and smiled again. Nodding his head towards the yeller he said, “No yelling, it’s more dangerous than it’s worth. Keep attentive, eyes forward and make sure you point out any obstacles to people behind you too.”

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We came to a climb while Tom and I were in the middle of the bunch. Tom moved back a little extra from the person in front. I followed suit and almost as I did so, the guys in front of us (and most of the pack) got out of their saddles for the climb. As they did this, their bikes rocked back a little, right into the space we had just given them. Mental check. We took the climb at a steady tempo. I didn’t feel the effort crushing me, and it felt only slightly harder than on the flats. We rose as a group; no one attacked, and no one pushed the pace. I imagined myself attacking this climb without Tom’s guidance. I thought of myself as a climber, but I also knew it’s only early cycling days for me. I felt like I had much to prove, and to this day I am sure I would have hammered that climb and looked like a right fool without Tom. We hit the top and began the descent. Nothing changed; the group stayed in formation, no one shot out of the pack to be the fastest down the hill, but we seemed to drift apart a little. I looked for the reason and saw – we were just giving each other a little more space on the descent. We drifted down the hill, took a sharp left back together and as I saw hands go up all around me, the pace slowed seamlessly and we rolled to a stop. Tom turned to me, shook my hand and said, “Great ride, Hayden”. And with that, he rode off to the car park. The day was done. I could hardly believe that was 60 miles. I felt pretty fresh and good. And happy. The ride went well and truly instilled my love of group riding, as well as teaching me a heck of a lot. I never saw Tom again, but everything he taught me, I still use, along with all the other tricks and techniques I’ve learned from all the other Tomtypes along the way. I also like to think I may serve as someone’s Tom myself from time to time. So cheers, Tom. ●


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LOCAL CLIMB

EVERY CLIMB IS SOMEONE’S LOCAL CLIMB

Colle del Ni volet

NAME OF THE CLIMB: Colle del Nivolet LOCATION: Piedmont, Italy START POINT: Locana, 653m above sea level FINISH POINT: Col at 2.612m above sea level ELEVATION GAIN: 1959m (6,431 ft) LENGTH OF CLIMB: 40.5k (25 miles) AVERAGE GRADIENT: 4.7% MAXIMUM GRADIENT: 15% CURRENT BEST TIME: unknown IMPORTANT ROUTE SUGGESTION: use old road to avoid 3k tunnel OPEN: usually snow free July to early September CAR TRAFFIC: first third: some, second third: “oh, a car!”, last third: almost none PRE RIDE COFFEE AND POST RIDE BEER: town center Cuorgne 28


EVERY CLIMB IS SOMEONE’S LOCAL CLIMB

LOCAL CLIMB

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SPAIN The Land Where Your Cycling Dreams Come True

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LA QUEBRANTAHUESOS THE SPANISH QUEEN OF GRAN FONDO ARTICLE: ALEJANDRO VILLALOBOS ● PHOTOS: ALEJANDRO VILLALOBOS AND QUEBRANTAHUESOS ● TRANSLATION: ULI FLUHME

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n the other side of the ocean lies one of those magical destinations: Spain. It’s a natural oasis for great roads, idyllic landscapes, harbors, sun, beaches and a bunch of Gran Fondos, with the maillot jaune among them going to La Quebrantahuesos. Each year thousands of cyclists from around the world tackle its 125 miles and 11,000 feet of climbing on roads that are benchmarks since the Tour de France gave them legendary status. The climbs may not be the absolute toughest around, but the word “Quebrantahuesos” is magical among Spanish riders. Former pros such as Pedro Delgado, Miguel Indurain, Claudio Chiapucci or German Raymund Dietzen paid their tribute. Since a shorter route of 90km (56 miles) was added in 2011, celebrity athletes from other disciplines like alpinist Edurne Pasabán or former FC Barcelona soccer player Luis Enrique flock to the race as well.

THE QUEEN OF GRAN FONDO IN SPAIN In 2013, 10,000 participants rode the event (of which 8,351 did the Gran Fondo and 1,659 the Medio Fondo “Treparriscos”), flooding the roads for several days and making it one of the most prestigious Gran Fondos in the world and Spain’s most important Gran Fondos. Every year, over 15,000 riders apply to take part. The event is headquartered in Sabiñánigo, a capital of Roman origin. It is situated between the valley of the river Aurín, the Gallego river to its north and the valleys of Guarga and Basa to the south. It’s a natural basin where several ecosystems and landscapes connect and provide the breeding ground for stunning manmade architecture. Now in its 23rd year, the event has many names: La Quebrantahuesos, “La QH”, the “Quebranta”, the “Queen of Gran Fondos” or the currently official “ChainReactioncycles.com La Quebrantahuesos”. It’s run by the company Octagon Esedos with the help of

XXIII ChainReactioncycles.com Quebrantahuesos Gran Fondo PLACE: Sabiñánigo, Spain DATE: June 21, 2014 DISTANCE: 200 km CLIMBS: Col du Somport, Marie Blanque, Portalet and Hoz de Jaca. PARTICIPANTS 2013: 8351 FINISHERS: 8170 NUMBER OF COUNTRIES REPRESENTED: 44 WEB: www.quebrantahuesos.com

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the club Peña Ciclista Edelweiss and its head Roberto Iglesias. Former pro Fernando Escartín serves as the testimonial of “La QH”, which has again been selected to be part of UCI Golden Bike and in 2014, for the first time, will be part of the Italian “Prestigio” calendar, following Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York’s footsteps for being a foreign event as part of the Italian circuit. HISTORY Back in 1991 in Huesca Sabiñánigo, a group of friends of the Peña Ciclista Edelweiss cycling club, followed the example of the organizers of “La Marmotte”. La Marmotte is one of the most famous Gran Fondos in Europe due to its inclusion of Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Galibier and mostly its finish up L’Alpe d’Huez. On June 22, 1991, 362 cyclists satrted the “Prima Marcha Cicloturista Internacional Altos Pirineos Quebrantahuesos”, paying homage to the Quebrantahuesos (Osprey), a species of the Falcon. The Osprey differs notably from other typical birds of prey. It gets its name from the habit to take bones and cadavars to great heights from where they drop these to split them on rocks in order to eat them. Flavio Martin Bermejo won the first race, a distance of 191km, including Col du Somport, the brutal Marie Blanque and the Portalet in 6:11h. After the first four editions, the Hoz de Jaca was added which increased the route to 200km (125 miles) and has stayed the same ever since. Only exception: in 2002 the route was extended to 230k (143 miles) but that was shortlived because temperatures that year reached 40°C (104F). The book “Quebrantahuesos. La Dulce tortura” (“The sweet torture”) tells a whole host of stories that reflect many of the sacrifices the riders have made over the years. The title of the book truly reflects the character of “La QH”.

JOSÉ MARÍA VALENCIA COSTA LAFARGA QH finisher 64-year-old José María Valencia Costa Lafarga has been a cyclist since he’s 12 years old. This was his ninth QH. After 20 years away from cycling, he returned to the bike ten years ago and participated at QH a year later. His goal was to finish, nothing more. Ever since, he has completed the prestigious French cyclosportive Marmotte four times, Gran Fondo Felice Gimondi twice and once the Mont Ventoux cyclosportive. Following the hit of the band “The Rebels���, José María was a “Spanish in New York” in 2013 and rode Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York. “Every time I reach the finish in Sabiñánigo, I promised myself: this is my last participation in the QH. But then, when in January the QH organization opens up the inscription process, I can not resist the temptation and I start my preparation for what will become the highlight of my cycling year.”

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200KM OF MAGIC The third weekend of June is the most colorful in the Alto Gállego, an idyllic landscape full of tourist attractions. On June 21, 2013, we’re heading to the expo to get our race number, soak in the QH atmosphere and chat about yesterday’s first stage of the Tour de France. We talk to cyclists from all over Europe such as Wybrand and Tjibbe Van Ellen from the Netherlands, the French Marie Noelle, fellow writer Jordi Escrihuela from Pedalier magazine, José María Costa Lafarga from Valencia, who a month earlier rode the magical Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York, judge Guillermo Romero, Jorge “El Pelao” (5th at La HQ 2010) as well as Australian Alexandra Cook. Big brands like Campagnolo, Mavic and Powerade showcase their latest products. IT’S ON 6.20am the sun rises in Sabiñánigo. The atmosphere is electric. The “Village Départ” is humming with 30,000 people - riders, their friends and their families. Just about an hour later, organizer María Iglesias sends 8,351 brave souls on their 200km journey 34

with 3,365 meters of climbing. Their first destination: “Summus Portus” which is the Roman word for Col du Somport. 16km later, we hit Sabiñánigo Jaca where people line the roads, fill balconies and occupy bridges to cheer us on. We’re going full tilt, averaging the first half hour at 46kph. The Somport starts easy but climbs 440m over the final 7.2km from Canfranc Station. It’s time to get off the big ring and enjoy the mountains such as the historic Fort Coll de Ladrones before we hit the ski resort of Candanchú and go through an anti avalanche tunnel. Reaching the top, we’re readying ourselves for 30km of descending on French territory before hitting the slopes of Col du Marie Blanque and its ten miles of clibing to the summit at 1,035 meters above sea level. A HELL CALLED MARIE BLANQUE The audience cheers the cyclists and after 6km of a gentle progression of 2, 3, 5 and 7%, we enter the moment of truth: 4km averaging 11% and peaking at 16%. Time to put it all on the line. For some, that means getting off the bike and walking. Most use compact cranks and 27- or 28-tooth cogs. Around us are


POLAR GRAN FONDO LA MUSSARA On 7 November the new Polar Gran Fondo La Mussara was presented to the press at the headquarters of the Moritz Factory in Barcelona. Joaquin Rodriguez, runner up at the 2012 Giro d’Italia and winner of the last two Giro di Lombardia, showed his support for the new event, accompanied by his representative and former sprinter Angel Edo. The inaugural Polar Gran Fondo La Mussara will take place on May 24, 2014 starting and finishing in Tarragona, just 100 km outside Barcelona. The Gran Fondo distance will be 187km with 3,200m of climbing while the Medio Fondo will be 97km with 1,600m of climbing. The course will provide a true challenge with lots of climbing and very few flat sections. The event is organized by the experiened team of Win Sports Factory in collaboration with Bikepark Reus. All riders will wear the mandatory pink and black jersey made by Northwave. More information: polargranfondolamussara.com

agonized faces in the lush forest that leads to the top. Meanwhile, the fans are shouting “Allez Marie, Allez Stephane!” and the numerous banners make us feel like we’re in the middle of the stage of the recent Tour de France. With 400 meters to go, the road declines a little to a more manageable 12%. Once at the top, it’s time to relax the muscles and descend towards Bielle (km 118). We use the break to eat and drink before the Portalet and its 28.7km, topping out at 1794 meters. It climbs mostly at a relatively tame 6-7%. During the last 2km, dozens of barbecueing families applaud wildly and push the weakest. We’re soon descending fast towards Búbal with the sun shining our way. Before reaching the finish line, the organizers put the cyclist to a final test by making them to climb a short but hard climb called “ Hoz de Jaca”. It’s only 1.5 miles long but averages 11%. Whether you finish in less than 6 hours like the winner Angel Vazquez or in 7, 8 or more than 11 hours, it doesn’t matter. From the first to the lanterne rouge, EVERYONE, in capital letters, are winners of a Gran Fondo that leaves its marks. We’re regaining our strength in the tents with food and Ambar Green beer, watching the podium ceremony before the curtain closes on a Gran Fondo that has become a national benchmark. We can’t wait to be back. Sabiñánigo awaits the cyclists on June 21, 2014. ●

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SAN MARCO

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HANDMADE SADDLE PRODUCTION IN ITALY – A VISIT AT SELLE SAN MARCO 5

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PICTURES FROM LEFT 1. Selle San Marco is based in Rossano Veneto, in northeastern Italy. This small town is famous in the world thanks to the production of racing saddles. 2. Luigi Girardi was the man who made Rossano Veneto the undisputed world capital of saddles by opening Selle San Marco in 1935. 3. Giuseppina Ferronato is the mother of the brothers Girardi who are now managing the company. She is working in production since 1953 – that’s more than 60 years! We did the factory tour late on a Friday and she was one of the last few employees still working before the weekend. 4. Vintage saddle forms collecting dust. 5. The legendary “Concor” waiting to get rails and skin. 6. Rails waiting for the seat. 7. Putting the rails onto the body is still manual labor. 8. Black glue is applied on the back of the shell to apply the seat cover. 9. The cover is put on the padding. 10. The cover is stretched out before the extra material gets cut off. 11. The San Marco Mantra “Gran Fondo New York” is ready. 12. The saddle gets packed with a guarantee booklet, stickers and technical information.

You can find Selle San Marco at www.sellesanmarco.it. Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York saddles by San Marco are available at www.granfondony.com/shop. Test saddles will be handed out to riders attending the GFNY group rides every Sunday. For more information please contact info@ granfondony.com. 12

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GFNY Magazine Winter 2014