The Vermont Gran Fondo (VTGF) born from a popular bucket list of epic local gap rides known by the locals as, the LAMB ride. LAMB comes from the names of four gaps (Lincoln Gap, Appalachian Gap, Middlebury Gap and Brandon Gap) which when combined into a single ride, can easily top 100 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing. The event takes place this weekend on August 7. In 2013, a band of local cyclists looking to create a new event for Vermont wanted something more challenging to compliment the numerous Valley ride events already taking place and the LAMB was a perfect fit, hence the Vermont Gran Fondo was born. Gran Fondo means big ride in Italian.
Each year the course’s four gaps are drawn from a selection of seven gaps; Appalachian Gap, Lincoln Gap, Roxbury Gap, Moretown Gap, Rochester Gap, Middlebury Gap and Brandon Gap. The six-gap ride includes all but Moretown Gap.
The 2021 Gran course will again push the limits with 9 to 10K-plus feet of climbing ~100-plus miles and two challenging mountain gaps. The course will include an ascent of Middlebury Gap and Lincoln Gap. The course begins in the village of Bristol and heads east towards Lincoln. Climbing, albeit light, to begin with, starts just 1.5 miles in. Participants will climb up towards the center of Lincoln and then on towards Ripton and the first mountain climb, Middlebury Gap. From Middlebury Gap, they descend into Hancock and then climb out of The Valley heading north towards Warren and the turn to Lincoln Gap.
With a 24% maximum grade and an average grade of 15%, the east side of Lincoln Gap is reported to be the steepest paved mile in the U.S., according to Bicycling Magazine (June 2008) and now one of the world’s steepest climbs by Global Cycling Network (GCN).
Although Lincoln Gap has often been singled out for its unique status, other gaps in the selection are well worthy of notice. For example, Appalachian Gap, Roxbury Gap, Rochester Gap and Middlebury Gap all include sections with impressive grades, some a steeper grade than Lincoln Gap’s 24% while the remaining all topping 15%; Appalachian (26%), Roxbury (16%), Rochester (17%), Brandon (18%), Moretown (17.6%) and Middlebury (27.8%).
The Gran Fondo is approximately 100 miles. A Medio Fondo of 65 miles and Piccolo Fondo of 37 miles are also offered.
The Vermont Gran Fondo is produced by Ride It If You Can LLC. The organizing committee is made up of cycling enthusiasts and athletically-inclined tourism and business development representatives. Event proceeds will be distributed via grants to municipalities and nonprofit organizations with the purpose of enhancing bicycling in Addison County through programs, education, infrastructure and/or equipment.
For details and registration visit: http://vermontgranfondo.com/