T. Edward Wines Sponsors the Gran Fondo NY
We are so excited to announce that we are sponsoring the Gran Fondo New York, 2012! To aid the recovery of the (anticipated) 5,000 participants, we’re supplying a custom label red wine from the slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily–one bottle for each pacco gara, or goodie bag. This spring, six of our guys rode the Gran Fondo NY, and next year we’ll have even more riders (self included) ready to ride at the start.
At the start on the George Washington Bridge
With 2,000 riders participating in the event this year, including NYC native George Hincapie, the Gran Fondo likens itself to a marathon for cyclists. For next year, organizers Lidia Rekas and Ulrich Fluhme expect to double the number of cyclists on the 65/100 mile course.
At 100 miles, The Gran Fondo is a competitive event with four timed climbs (and prizes), multiple categories for licensed racers and for non-licensed athletes; pros can ride but not compete for prizes. The Medio Fondo is a 65 mile non-competative ride with two timed climbs. All riders are invited to attend the two-day expo and the post-race meal and party!
Inspired by the Gran Fondos in Italy, which happen almost weekly with 1,500-9,000 riders at every event, Lidia and Ulrich worked hard to bring the Gran Fondo to New York. One of the most exciting outcomes of the event is the upcoming repaving of River Road, a pock-marked one-mile climb that’s a favorite for local cyclists. Running along the Palisades, and finishing at 9W, this stretch of asphalt will cost $225,000 to repave, with funds raised by Gran Fondo and Transportation Alternatives.
PC Riding the Gran Fondo
Like the NYC Marathon, the Gran Fondo NY is an event for elite riders and amateurs alike. It “enable a lot of people to discover or tap into their competitive side,” says Uli. And to support all riders, Lidia and Uli offer training rides at 9 AM every Sunday for all registered participants beginning on December 4th. Led by six ambassadors, including three certified coaches, last year’s training rides supported up to 100 riders, divided into three different speed groups. “It’s a great motivation for people to get out,” says Uli.
“It’s very social,” adds Lidia, “and not for interval training.” When we met last week, she spoke at length about the great friendships forged during the training rides, and about all the goals met. It’s no small feat to spend 100 miles in the saddle, and the Gran Fondo enables a number of riders to accomplish what was once an impossible thought.
For us, sponsoring the Gran Fondo is an organic extension of our love of bikes! In 2009, we followed the Tour de France up Mt. Ventoux, and a number of our producers are also avid cyclists. ZD Wines is the official wine sponsor of next year’s Tour of California, for the second year in a row; and Chuck McMinn, the owner of Vineyard 29, is the Executive Director of The Napa Valley Vine Trail, a 44-mile asphalt path that will run the length of Napa Valley.
As we train, we’ll be keeping you posted. According to the Gran Fondo website, we currently have 184 days, 17 hours, 46 minutes, and 8 seconds until start time.
We’ll see you on the road!