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Gran Fondo Virginia Cycling Event Comes to Albemarle County

New Event for the Old Dominion Set for Sunday, Sept. 8
SportVista, LLC, a sport event management company, announces the inaugural Gran Fondo Virginia in Albemarle County, VA on Sunday, Sept. 8. A full schedule of events for bicyclists and their families is planned. A gran fondo – literally translated as “big endurance” from Italian - is a very popular cycling event format in Europe that can include up to 10,000 riders at the biggest events. Often described as “marathons for bikes”, gran fondos feature three or more challenging and scenic courses to suit everyone from beginners to professional cyclists, a mass-start with the pomp and circumstance of a race, and participant timing to include both uphill climb segments and overall elapsed time. Gran Fondos have more recently crossed the Atlantic in a big way and they now feature in such iconic North American locales as New York City, Sonoma County, Calif., and Whistler, B.C. Canada.

“We’re committed to the format of the gran fondo because it’s inclusive and welcoming. The novice cyclist will line up with professional riders, very much like the ‘weekend warriors’ line up with the world’s elite at the New York Marathon,” says Matthew Butterman of event organizer SportVista, LLC. “Our mission is to bring world-class cycling events to the communities and causes we serve, and we’re very excited to build one right here in our hometown.”
Proceeds from the Gran Fondo Virginia will support local charity Better World Betty, a grassroots organization dedicated to providing local solutions to people and businesses to help them live a more sustainable life. Their programs include regular eco-living features in print and radio, a website resource for the community, and the development of a task force on recycling. Better World Betty’s core program is the Better Business Challenge, a friendly competition aimed at helping area businesses increase their efficiency and sustainability.  As part of its own commitment to sustainability and eco-living, the Gran Fondo Virginia will include rest stops featuring locally grown produce, recycling centers at the start/finish and rest stops, and incentives for participants to carpool or ride their bicycles to the start/finish venue at Walnut Creek Park.

The Gran Fondo Virginia is part of the three-event Peaks Power Challenge Ride Series, supported by Bedford, Virginia-based Peaks Coaching Group and famed cycling coach and power training expert Hunter Allen. The series allows participants to specifically prepare for the unique challenges of each course by purchasing a training plan during online registration at a special price.  Additional sponsors of the 2013 Gran Fondo Virginia include Balance for Cyclists insurance and Hammer Nutrition. Municipal support comes from Albemarle County, Virginia.

“Albemarle County is thrilled to be the host location for Gran Fondo Virginia, an exciting new event that reinforces our community’s reputation for outdoor adventure and fitness and also demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship and eco-tourism. We appreciate being selected as the venue and look forward to introducing cyclists to the rolling hills, scenic vistas and local products of our county,” says Albemarle County spokesperson Lee Catlin.
Registration and further information is available at the event website,  SportVista, LLC is a Virginia-based sport and event management company. We have organized many successful cycling events including the past Tour of Shenandoah and Tour of Virginia races and current events include the Peaks Power Challenge Ride Series. We are dedicated to health promotion and economic development for the communities and municipalities we serve, and to premium experiences and lasting memories for our event participants.

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