Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo
Saturday May 14, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 AM
3 Loops to Choose From: 108 mile, 69 mile, 32 mile
Event Open to All
4 Timed Sections in the 108 mile loop – Best Combined Time Wins
Age Group Categories
Cash Purse, Awards and Winners jerseys for Gran Route
Awards Prizes for 69 mile and 32 mile winners
This is a 2015 Gran Fondo National Championship Series® event
Ride with your friends, Race with your friends
Fully Stocked Aid Stations to keep you going
Over 12,000 feet of climbing in the 108 mile loop
Come Challenge Yourself
This event raises funds for Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
“Come Challenge Yourself”
Packet pick up:
Pick up on Friday to avoid the morning rush!
Friday 5/13/16 From 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
The Universal Joint 109 N Main St. Clayton, GA 30525
Saturday 5/14/16 From 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM
The Universal Joint 109 N Main St. Clayton, GA 30525 (Race Start/Finish)
Nestled in Rabun County, the ride starts in downtown Clayton Georgia under the shadow of Black Rock Mt. state park, and heads south on old 441. After passing Tiger Mountain Vineyard, the course takes a right on Bridge Creek Rd. at the town of Tiger. When sharp topped Tiger Mountain comes into view on the right, the first timed section is near. At mile 5.5, the course climbs 455ft to mile 8 on the ridge of Glassy Mountain. The next 23 miles roll over small mountains, through picturesque farmland, and past mountain lakes.
After passing through Unicoi State Park, the route turns right onto the Unicoi Gap climb. Riders enter the mountainous area that was made famous by the 2003-2008 Tour de Georgia. In 2008, Unicoi Gap was the second to last climb on the approach to the race-deciding ascent up Brasstown Bald where Kanstantin Suitsou got the jump on Trent Lowe and Levi Leipheimer to win the event. Riders’ second time section will take place here over 7 miles and climb 1500ft to the top of Unicoi Gap. The climb is very gradual for several miles, before turning into a real alpine ascent. Enjoy the vistas of the Chattahoochee National Forest on the descent before turning left and climbing up and over Jack’s Gap.
A left turn on Richard Russell Scenic Hwy will put riders face to face with the last timed section, Hogpen gap. Within 6.5 miles and another 1500ft, riders will reach the highest point on the course at 3469ft with ramps of 12%. The views at the top of the surrounding peaks are breathtaking. Check your speed and be careful on the descent as there are many sharp turns. Enjoy the ride through the forest knowing that the hardest climbing is behind you.
The town of Helen will be your next landmark. Here, in 1969, local business owners collaborated to create what is now called “Bavaria in the Appalachians.” Just outside of Helen on the route is the Nacoochee Indian Mound, the center of the ancient Cherokee town of Gauxule, visited by Desoto in his search for gold. The next 16 miles will take you through rolling farmland and mountain vistas. Around mile 90, riders will enter the land of the lakes, as they cruise the rollercoaster of asphalt along Lake Seed and Lake Rabun. At the town of Lakemont, the course again joins old Hwy 441 and returns 8 miles to the finish and the festivities in downtown Clayton. Be sure to plan to stick around for beers, food and music served up at the finish line by the Universal Joint.
Photo by Photos by Peter McIntosh