Team Amanti Vino at the finish line
This past Sunday, Team Amanti Vino rode the 60 mile NJ Highlands Gran Fondo. Training and riding with Sharon Sevrens of Amanti Vino, Terence and Mark– our NJ sales reps–climbed 4,820 feet in 58 miles, but at least their day was sunny and warm, much unlike our experience a few weeks earlier suffering the cold, wet path of the Gran Fondo NY.
What follows are three short recaps of the event from Sharon, Terence and Mark. Thanks for the photos and congrats on the great finish Team Amanti Vino!
Ryan (friend of TEW), Joe B., PC, KU, Rain, JP
Yesterday’s Gran Fondo New York ride was epic. Not because of the 100 miles, nor the 8,000 feet of climbing. We’d been there and done that last year. What was missing from yesterday’s journey was the spring time temps and the sun and blue skies, which would have felt like the “Second Coming” had either appeared, if only for a second, during yesterday’s ride.
After waking at 4:45AM on Sunday, I dressed for the forecast: 10-20% chance of rain with high temps reaching 64 degrees–in shorts and thin base layers with a light spring vest. When I stepped outside my door it was already raining, but I/we expected that it would stop. Riding up the West Side, there were scores of other crazies in their official lemon-green Gran Fondo jerseys. And our Team TEW of five found each other near the ramp leading up to the George Washington Bridge, where we then made our way to the first coral to wait for the 7:00AM start.
PC with George
Thanks to PC for this post on his weekend at the Hincapie Gran Fondo.
My Dinner with George
About a year ago, T. Edward Wines was announced as one of the sponsors of the 2012 Gran Fondo New York, an epic cycling event that led to an email from Rich and George Hincapie about our involvement.
A pro’s pro in the cycling world, George Hincapie has been on the winning team in The Tour de France nine times; he’s finished the race a record 17 times, and he’s probably the greatest teammate in the history of cycling – a selfless rider who has always put the needs of the team ahead of his individual aspirations. Big George, as he is affectionately known, was the Road Captain for many of the teams that he rode on and he was amongst the most respected riders in the peloton over the span of his 19-year long career.
TB & PC at the top of Maroon Bells with Team Exergy Twenty12
One great benefit of sponsoring a cycling event, is getting to hang with the athletes. For the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge (BRAC), PC and TB flew out to Aspen to watch the women’s race, took a bunch of pictures, rode with Team Exergy Twenty12 and even scripted the following post (!). Thanks Peter!
Tom and I stood off to the side of Main Street, admiring the muscular limbs of beautiful women, glistening with streams of sweat as they pumped up and down, at over 100 rotations per minute.
In all shapes and sizes, they sported little clothing…all very short and absolutely skin tight.
Crowds of people craned their necks and pointed camera, hoping to catch just a glimpse of these fine ladies in action.
Pulses thumping, chests heaving…Oh calm yourself…It was a women’s professional bike race!
George climbing Mont Ventoux during the 2009 TdF
Back in November, when we announced our sponsorship of the Gran Fondo NY, Rich Hincapie of Hincapie Sportswear was planning to build a cellar with brother George, and so he reached out to us to talk about wine, and taste. In great need of a new kit design (see below), we jumped at the chance to develop any kind of rapport with one of our favorite cycling stars, and said Yes! to their offer, totally unaware of the friendship that would follow…
Connie Carpenter at the 1984 Coors Classic & at the 1984 Olympic Games Road Race (photo credits)
After competing at the 1972 Winter Olympics as a member the U.S. speed skating team at the age of 14, Connie Carpenter went on to become the first American to win a cycling medal at the Olympics, since Carl Schutte took the bronze in 1912. Beating her teammate Rebecca Twigg by eight inches in a sprint to the finish line, Connie dug deep on a day that hit 92 degrees by 9:30 in the morning. At this first ever Olympic cycling event for women, Carpenter swept the gold just days before her husband Davis Phinney won the Olympic bronze at the men’s team time trial, and then she retired from an eight year career as a professional cyclist. This year, in addition to running the Carpenter/Phinney Bike Camp, Connie and Davis will be supporting their son Taylor at the Olympic games in London, where he’ll be riding the time trial and the road race for the U.S. team.
We are psyched to announce our sponsorship of the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge–in conjunction with Blue Ribbon Restaurants and Bike Express–a women’s professional National Race Calendar three-stage race, this coming August 20-22nd. In its second year, BRAC was created as the only professional cycling event for women to be held during the all-male USA Pro-Cycling Challenge. To launch the event, Jessica van Garderen, the race organizer and two-time U.S. elite national road champion, is hosting a celebration of mountain stages in Boulder, CO, on July 12th, for which we are supplying the wines. And because she will be screening that day’s Stage 12 of the Tour de France during the party, we selected three wines to honor a variety of mountain stages as the peloton climbs through the Alps.
PC with Uli Fluhme of the Gran Fondo NY
While our fabulous teammates were lining up for the Medio Fondo, ten of us, including four members of TEW and six dear friends, were readying for the Gran Fondo, a 110 mile ride to Bear Mountain and back, with 8,500 feet of gained elevation. And while one could potentially complete the Medio Fondo without much training, there was no way to tackle this one without time spent on the bike.
On Sunday, 26 members of Team TEW (including 12 TEW riders and 14 family members and friends) joined a total of 5,000 riders to participate in the Medio Fondo NY–a 60 mile ride from the George Washington Bridge to Upper Nyack and back again–and the Gran Fondo NY–a 110 mile ride with four timed climbs and 8,500 feet of climbing. Neither event was for the faint of heart, regardless of one’s fitness. And while the degrees of training might have varied, everyone worked hard to complete the race, and all 26 of us finished. It was an amazing day for everyone; an event that we’re very proud to have sponsored. We all look forward to riding it again in 2013.
On the road with Laura Elder
The moment that we’ve all been training for is soon upon us–the Gran Fondo NY. This coming Sunday, May 20th, Team TEW will be riding with some 5,000 other participants from around the world, opting for one of two routes: the Medio Fondo at 60 miles/ 100K or the Gran Fondo, which totals 110 miles (177K) with 8,500 feet of climbing and four timed climbs. Today, we’re supporting Laura Elder, one of our upstate reps who’s been training for the Medio Fondo, an exemplary emotional and physical workout! What follows below are excerpts from her training “diary”–notes that she’d sent to me over the past few months. Thanks Laura!