Canadian Cyclist


November 30/09 19:42 pm - North American Grand Fondo Series Launched for 2010

Posted by Editoress on 11/30/09

Combine the mass-participation buzz of a big-city marathon, the epic beauty of a European gran fondo, and the all-inclusive nature of a cycling century ride and you have the framework for the newest entrant to North America's endurance sports events arena - Centurion Cycling.

Launched in fall 2009 by Ironman pioneer Graham Fraser and veteran event organizer Len Pettyjohn, Centurion Cycling is a competitive, three-race series with events slated for Boulder-Lyons, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; and Mammoth Lakes, California.

Centurion-Colorado kicks off the series on July 17-18, 2010. Centurion-Wisconsin follows on Aug. 7-8, and Centurion-California completes the slate on Sept. 11-12. On-line registration for all three marathon-of-cycling events is now open. Precise computer-chip timing will determine exact finish times - and the winners of a $25,000 prize purse that includes overall series champion bonuses.

Each two-day Centurion Cycling event will include three separate rides - a 25-miler on Saturday, and 50-mile and 100-mile rides on Sunday. The 50 and 100-mile courses will feature significant climbing, providing a tough test for even the most seasoned amateur racer. The 25-mile event will be more family friendly, but also provide an outlet for riders who favor speed over distance, or those who simply want to tune up the legs ahead of the longer rides.

Centurion's ability-based seeding process, broad range of age-based categories, and multiple distance options will encourage families and less-competitive riders to embrace this new challenge.

No matter what distance is chosen, or how long it takes, riders will be greeted by a sprawling finish-line festival complete with food and drink, live entertainment and an expansive vendor expo.

"These events will truly have something for everyone," explained Fraser, who drew his initial inspiration from France's famed l'Étape du Tour, a mass-participation event where riders take on one of the mountainous stages of the Tour de France. "We'll have a large contingent of people who treat our event like a race, pushing themselves as hard as they can. But at the other end, there will be people simply riding to complete the 100-mile distance. The beauty is that unlike most U.S. cycling events that lean heavily one way or the other, we have room for both groups, and the people who fall somewhere in between.”

For more information about Centurion Cycling, log on to


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