(Photos: Brian Hodes/VeloImages)
Three years ago Scott Johnson of Serious Cycling decided to create an event that would combine the spectacular cycling terrain around Malibu, California with a full weekend of riding and dining with the full pro treatment. Though there is no shortage of Gran Fondos in Southern California, Johnson created the Malibu Gran Fondo as a more exclusive event that maintains a 200-rider field limit and the opportunity for a second day of riding following the 90-mile Fondo. This year’s event will be held from March 5-6 with the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake playing host to the start and finish, in addition to offering a complete cycling package with lodging.
“The idea is to get people to travel and stay the weekend. Looking at the list of registered riders, we have riders from Germany, Italy, and a number of other countries. There are also a lot of out-of-state riders coming that are after warm weather and good riding terrain”, said Johnson.
If you ask any local rider what the best route in the area is and the response will more than likely include two specific roads: Pacific Coast Highway and Latigo Canyon. The Malibu Gran Fondo features 22 miles along the Pacific Coast Highway that passes by some of the most famous beaches in the state. While PCH makes for easy, mostly flat riding, Latigo Canyon is not quite so gentle as it climbs for 10 miles and presents the day’s biggest challenge in addition to plenty of photo opportunities. It also features as the KOM/QOM climb of the event for those that want to test themselves on the twisting canyon climb.
Post-ride is all about the experience back at Four Seasons, which will include a gourmet meal, bike cleaning by WD-40, and massage by Cyclists Massage. Friday evening will include a Women’s Symposium on how to prepare for and execute a multi-day event, while Saturday evening a wine and tapas reception will be held.
Riders will have the option on the second day to compete in a 20-kilometer time trial along PCH, or a non-timed ride along the same route. For those wanting the full omnium experience, overall prizes will be awarded based on cumulative time from the two days.
2015 Malibu Gran Fondo In Photos
For more info and to register go to: www.ridemalibugranfondo.com