USA Cycling, Gran Fondo National Series Partnership Includes Asheville Event
21 Feb, 2020
USA Cycling has announced a five-year partnership with Gran Fondo National Series (GFNS) to bring the existing GFNS Gran Fondo National Series and the one-day Gran Fondo National Championship into the portfolio of official USA Cycling National Championship events.
One of these is the annual USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship event, which in 2020 will be held on July 19 at Gran Fondo Asheville in Asheville, North Carolina.
This partnership provides gran fondo riders in the USA with the opportunity to compete for a coveted USA Cycling stars-and stripes jersey, and provides all USA Cycling members with value-added benefits at select series events nationwide.
‘Both USA Cycling and GFNS believe the future of cycling in the US must prioritize inclusivity, to bring the varied disciplines of competitive and participatory cycling together.’
Reuben Kline, Event Director for GFNS, founded the series in 2012 to offer cyclists a social and competitive experience outside of traditional road racing. As USA Cycling looks forward to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the organization is embarking on a new strategic initiative to strengthen its support of all cyclists, including non-racers and enthusiasts.
“USA Cycling is excited to partner with the Gran Fondo National Series to further our commitment to make good rides great and great riders champions,” said Rob DeMartini, CEO of USA Cycling. “Adding the Gran Fondo National Championship to our calendar is an important step forward in USA Cycling’s new vision of supporting different entry points and opportunities for people to participate in the cycling lifestyle.”
The Gran Fondo National Series is a season-long competition based on overall, age group, and team results at participating gran fondos. Originally limited to nine GFNS events, with the support of USA Cycling the series will expand so riders can earn points at designated gran fondos throughout the United States.
To elevate the gran fondo experience, participating events will create benefit packages for USA Cycling members, which could include early access to registration, entry incentives, priority check in, preferred start corral position, and more.
Gran Fondo National Championship
Results and rankings in the Gran Fondo National Series will be used to qualify riders to enter the annual USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship event, which in 2020 will be held on July 19 at Gran Fondo Asheville in Asheville, North Carolina. Qualification criteria and event dates are being finalized and will be released in the coming weeks.
“I’ve produced the Gran Fondo National Championship Series and Gran Fondo National Championship since 2012,” said GFNS Event Director Reuben Kline. “I strive to improve and elevate events every year, and have been working on a qualifier system for the Gran Fondo National Championship for some time.”
The need to qualify only applies to the Gran (longest) route, which will count as the one-day National Championship event, using the timed-segment competition format GFNS has made popular in the US. As in the past, the shorter Medio and Piccolo Routes will be open to all riders and do not require qualification.
Cyclists will not need a USA Cycling membership to participate in GFNS events or to qualify for the 2020 Gran Fondo National Championship. However, a USA Cycling membership will be required to participate in the Gran Fondo National Championship. Official USA Cycling stars-and-stripes National Champion jerseys will be awarded to winners in each age group.
Reuben Kline added, “I’m eager to work with USA Cycling and other event directors to expand the series, grow participation in events nationwide, and give athletes the opportunity to win an official USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship. Having the support of USA Cycling is personally refreshing, too.
“This project is not only meaningful for GFNS but demonstrates key changes at USA Cycling and their move to support and work with the greater cycling community outside of traditional racing. I’m not just excited for what I’ve built, but for the prospective this has for cycling in America.”
Founded in 2012 by Event Director Reuben Kline, the nine-event Gran Fondo National Series is billed as the largest and most competitive series of gran fondo cycling events in the United States. Acquired in 2017 by the parent company of Haute Route, GFNS events are part of OC Sports’ international portfolio of cycling, running, ultrarunning and sailing events.