This was the 25th edition of the Mammoth Gran Fondo and it was nearly perfect. The event started out on Friday evening with the Pro Panel offering some general tips on riding, gear, training and altitude. Former editor Neil Shirley and current editor Troy Templin were both on hand offering tips as well as Brandon Baker (last years winner), Joy McCulloch (Big Wheel Coaching), Jack Cauthen (VeloFix), Jason Siegle(CTS), Brian McCulloch (Big Wheel Coaching), Kate Veronneau (Zwift and last years women’s winner), Bryan Staub (VR7) and Greg Leibert (Bonk Breaker).
The weather was truly perfect with a relatively warm 48-degree start and mid 70 to low 80-degree temperatures throughout the day. There are three route options, 102, 70 and 42 with timed results. It is not a race but we will say that the winners are celebrated and the field is competitive. If you choose the 102-mile route you are rewarded with 75 miles of closed roads and about 6500 feet of climbing. The course is challenging but the views are spectacular and worth every effort.
Not only is the ride remarkable but so is the after party where participants get food, snacks and a well-deserved beer. The whole village was buzzing with energy as riders recalled their ride and relaxed in the ambiance with family and friends. This year there were 1702 total riders and 1064 of them chose the 102-mile option. Head to www.mammothgranfondo.com for more info and mark your calendars for next year because it’s one of the best around.