Monday, November 2, 2009

Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo

Granfondo style racing gained another toehold in the USA with the enthusiastic response to the Levi Leipheimer King Ridge GranFondo of October 3rd. The registration limit of 3,500 riders was met before the day of event.

The granfondo route of 103 miles is one that Leipheimer, a three-time Tour of California winner, uses as a training loop. The mediofondo covered 65 miles and the "PiccoloFondo" 35 miles.

After taking riders into Occidental via Graton Road, the course included Cazadero and Bohemian Highways, King Ridge Road, Highway 1, and Coleman Valley Road. King Ridge Road, with a 20% section, challenged the riders. The Coleman Valley Road climb, which came near the end of the course, was described as a "beast" and forced many riders to walk.

Organizers of the granfondo said 65 percent of the sold-out event's profits would go to secure a place for Santa Rosa, Leipheimer's hometown, in the 2010 Amgen Tour of California cycling race. The remaining 35 percent will go to Forget Me Not Farm, a nonprofit group that provides therapy for troubled children on the grounds of the Humane Society & SPCA of Sonoma County.

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