Registration for the third annual Levi Leipheimer’s King Ridge GranFondo will open January 17, 2011. The 7,500-person registration cap is expected to sell out quickly. The ride, which is already the biggest mass-start event in North America, is held in Levi’s hometown of Santa Rosa, California. On October 1, 2011, the cyclists from all over the world will get to follow one of Leipheimer’s favorite training rides, Sonoma County’s King Ridge Road. New for 2011 are expanded opportunities for individual fundraisers, more on-course support and a bigger FondoSonoma Festival to greet and feed riders returning to Santa Rosa.
Riders will challenge themselves on one of three different course lengths, the largest and most popular being the 103-mile Gran route. This route climbs over 8,500 feet and takes in the best of Sonoma County’s famed cycling terrain. The Medio and Piccolo routes, 65 miles and 32 miles respectively, will accomodate riders looking to ride a portion of the Gran route and get back to the FondoSonoma Festival in time to enjoy local food, cold beer, live music, and loads of cycling exhibits. The Gran route will host 4,000 riders, the Medio, 2,500, and the Piccolo, 1,000. All of this brought to you by Bike Monkey, the Santa Rosa cycling event company that’s been working with Levi on this ride since its inaugural run in 2009.
Levi’s GranFondo has always been a charity ride, supporting the Forget Me Not Farm for at-risk kids and the rural schools and local services along the event route. Proceeds are also being allocated to a new grant program for cycling infrastructure and improvements in our cycling community. Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG cancer intiative is also a GranFondo beneficiary. This year will be no different, as the event builds on its past giving of over $160,000, all through its non-profit arm, VeloStreet. Event proceeds and fundraising this year are expected to exceed $250,000, according to Leipheimer.
“Every year, I’m blown away, not only with the success of the event, but more by the promise of what we can put together in the new year, ” says Leipheimer. “We’ve been very fortunate and we work very hard, but we keep finding ways to improve the event and generate more excitement about the simple power of riding your bike. ”
The 7,500 spots available for Levi’s GranFondo will cost between $75 and $135, depending on route. Remember to register early as spaces for this famed event are expected to fill quickly. For further information and to register, check out www.levisgranfondo.com