FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FIRST EUROPEAN-STYLE GRAN FONDO CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES LAUNCHES IN THE UNITED STATES
Former Professional Rider Reuben Kline Brings The Next Endurance Sports Discipline to America with Races in Six States Starting in March
Gran Fondo National Championship Series SM encourages the progression of cycling as a communal sport that promotes personal challenges and a competitive outlet for a wide variety of riders
FREDERICK, MD, February 20, 2013 – Road cycling enthusiasts in the United States now have the opportunity to participate in races evoking the European tradition of scenic riding competitions with the Gran Fondo National Championship Series SM (GFNCS). The GFNCS, launched and managed by former professional mountain bike rider Reuben Kline, consists of six unique and exciting routes in cities along the Eastern Seaboard and in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
A Gran Fondo is a cycling challenge that takes bicycle racing to the next level. Gran fondos are a hybrid of competitive road racing and casual century rides. The Gran Fondo National Championship Series SM courses lead riders through country roads with challenging climbs and incredible scenery. Courses are offered in different lengths from 30 to 100 miles so participants can find the distance to match their goals. Each rider is assigned an electronic timing-chip to keep track of their progress throughout the course and to allow riders to compete for best time through highlighted sections of the course. Whether riding for a cause, a personal goal or in competition, the Gran Fondo National Champion Series SM courses offer some of the most beautiful rides in the US.
The 2013 Gran Fondo National Championship Series SM events include Central Florida (March 17) in Dade City, FL; North Georgia (April 14) in Clayton, GA; New Jersey Highlands (June 9) in Newfoundland, NJ; Golden (June 23) in Golden, CO; Boone (August 4) in Boone, NC; Frederick (September 22) in Frederick, MD where the series championship jersey will be awarded. The GFNCS has partnered with a veteran cyclist from each region to design a course with just one mission – make a route that is both challenging and beautiful.
“I see gran fondo bicycle racing becoming the next endurance sports discipline” said Reuben Kline, founder and president of the Gran Fondo National Championship SeriesSM. “Whereas the sport of cycling has experienced strong growth here in the States, the racing industry has not reacted to provide a competitive outlet for people entering the sport or racing independently; in general one could say the sport of bicycle racing has not been user friendly in the States.” Kline continued, “Gran fondo bike racing eliminates the ‘peloton dependency’ of traditional bicycle racing. The rider is timed against the clock then compared to the other competitors to determine placement. I wanted people to have user-friendly access to bicycle racing; this is what inspired me to develop the Gran Fondo National Championship Series SM.”
Reuben Kline has over 22 years of experience in the bicycle industry, including five years as a professional mountain bike rider, six years as a full-time race director and 17 years as promoter of the Michaux Endurance Series. In 2010 he was featured in the award-winning documentary film Ride The Divide and in 2013 coordinated 15 endurance sports events in the New York Metro area. Kline is also founder of www.bicifitness.com, a bicycling tours and training website.
Several of cycling’s leading brands have signed on as national sponsors of the GFNCS, including Specialized Bicycle Components, Bertucci Performance Field Watches, Hammer Nutrition, Descente Ltd. and Road ID. “We at Specialized are excited to support the GFNCS. These events are a great way for both experienced and novice riders to enjoy some fun competition and we get to spend time with others who are passionate about bikes,” said Dan Sluzas, East Regional Sales Manager at Specialized.
Scott Kemball-Cook, National Sales Manager of Descente Ltd.’s Cycling Division, stated “Descente is excited to be working with the Gran Fondo National Championship SeriesSM. We feel that these ride/races are the best way to bring casual riders and racers together in one place. As an apparel company, we think these hybrid events are a great way to showcase our unique products to every type of rider. We are proud to be a national sponsor of the GFNCS Series.”
The Gran Fondo National Championship SeriesSM was established in 2012 and is comprised of six European-style ride/races staged in the United States. The company is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. For more details visit www.gfncs.com