GRAN FONDO ISLE OF MAN SET TO OFFER CLOSED ROADS CYCLING CHALLENGES FOR ALL AGES AND ABILITIES
Having recently announced that they were taking some time off from Isle of Man Cyclefest after three successful years, the festival’s organisers (Isle of Man Cyclefest Ltd) are pleased to announce their plans for forthcoming year, with the news of a major Gran Fondo event scheduled for July 2019.
Taking place on the 21st of July 2019, Gran Fondo Isle of Man will compromise four separate cycling challenges, featuring extensive closed roads riding experiences for all ages and abilities starting and finishing at the idyllic Mooragh Park in Ramsey.
THE BIG ONE
The Gran Fondo will follow much of the traditional Cyclefest route including the torturous climbs of Druidale, Round Table and Injebreck, but will feature a number of tweaks to the route, designed to improve rider safety and to reduce the impact on local residents.
The Gran Fondo is as much about bike handling, as it is a test of physical endurance, featuring several technical challenges, not least the now infamous ‘Strade Bianche’ gravel section through South Barrule Plantation. The 2019 event develops this theme further and will see the riders take on the challenge of the ‘Hell of the North’ for the first time; a 2.5 mile section through the technical Ballaugh Curraghs, which will see riders jockeying for position as they hit this notoriously rough and twisty section of road.
Gran Fondo Isle of Man is one of only three true competitive Gran Fondo events staged in the UK, held on a largely closed roads 85-mile course and operated under the rules and regulations of TLI Cycling.
THE MEDIUM ONE
For recreational riders who want to test themselves that little bit further, the 40-mile Medio Fondo will follow the route of the Gran Fondo to the very top of Druidale – its first major climb. Participants will then branch off towards the Bungalow and the stunning closed roads descent of Tholt-Y-Will as they make their way back to Ramsey. Boasting one of the island’s most challenging ascents – as well as one of its very best descents – the Medio will offer many riders the perfect balance of effort and reward.
THE FAMILY ONE
Aimed at families and beginners, the 20-mile Piccolo Fondo will wind its way around the peaceful coastline and flatter farmland of the Islands northern plains, through a patchwork of tiny villages and church steeples, set amongst the fields and blooming hedgerows. The Piccolo Fondo will be that little bit easier in 2019, with the steep ascent of Bride Hill removed as part of a shorter, flatter route held on almost entirely closed roads.
THE MINI ONE
There is also a Fondo for our youngest cyclists in 2019, with the introduction of the family-friendly Minisculo Fondo, held over a half-mile circuit in and around Ramsey’s Mooragh Park. Open to children, families and beginners, participants will be able to complete as many laps as they can in an hour’s worth of riding in a safe, closed roads environment.
THE RIDERS VILLAGE
The Gran Fondo Isle of Man events will all start and finish in Ramsey’s fabulous Mooragh Park, which will also host the Riders Village. The Riders Village will feature a range of high quality food and beverage options for riders and their supporters to enjoy, with a giant LED screen showing coverage of stage 15 of The Tour de France; a key mountain stage from Limoux to Foix Prat d’Albis.
The Riders Village will also feature a ‘Service Course’ offering pre ride technical support, massage facilities to ease those post ride aches and pains as well as Race HQ and Medical Facilities.
GAIN CONFIDENCE, GET ACTIVE
Isle of Man Cyclefest Ltd is passionate about getting more people on bikes and Gran Fondo Isle of Man will be central to the organisers’ aim of encouraging greater participation in the sport. The Minisculo Fondo will offer children of all ages a unique riding experience in a safe and secure environment, while the Piccolo will be remodeled with a firm focus on families. Both events are ideal for beginners and recreational cyclists looking to enjoy the health benefits of an active lifestyle as well as build confidence when riding a bicycle on the road.
As part of this drive, Isle of Man Cyclefest Ltd will be hosting a number of coaching days aimed specifically at new and inexperienced cyclists aiming to take part in the Piccolo Fondo. These sessions are absolutely FREE and participants can take advantage of some expert coaching by former professional cyclists Rob Holden and Andrew Roche. Rob and Andrew will help build fitness and confidence for those who are new to cycling and who want to grasp the basic skills and knowledge.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Entries for all Gran Fondo Isle of Man events will open on the 25th of January with early bird discount options available. To register your interest go to www.granfondoiom.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at /iomcyclefest.