News: Isle of Man Gran Fondo

Entries are have gone on sale for Gran Fondo Isle of Man scheduled for 21st July 2019, with early bird discounts available until midnight on 1st March 2019

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News: Isle of Man Gran Fondo

– Closed road cycling challenges for all ages and abilities

Entries are have gone on sale for Gran Fondo Isle of Man scheduled for 21st July 2019, with early bird discounts available until midnight on 1st March 2019, available through official event web site at

Gran Fondo Isle of Man comprises four separate cycling challenges, featuring extensive closed roads riding experiences for all ages and abilities starting and finishing at the idyllic Mooragh Park in Ramsey.

The Gran Fondo – named by Cycling Plus and Cycling Weekly in their annual list of top ten races to do – will follow much of the traditional Cyclefest route – including the torturous climbs of Druidale, Round Table and Injebreck that make up the prestigious King and Queen of the Mountain prizes – but will feature a number of tweaks to the route that are designed to improve rider safety and reduce the impact on local residents.

The Gran Fondo – as much about bike handling as it is a test of physical endurance – features several technical challenges, not least the now infamous ‘Strade Bianche’ gravel section through South Barrule Plantation. The 2019 event develops this theme further and will see the riders take on the challenge of the ‘Hell of the North’ for the first time; a 2.5 mile section through the technical Ballaugh Curraghs, which will see riders jockeying for position as they hit this notoriously rough and twisty section of road.

Gran Fondo Isle of Man is one of only three true competitive Gran Fondo events staged in the UK, held on a largely closed roads 85-mile course and operated under the rules and regulations of TLI Cycling.
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For recreational riders who want to test themselves that little bit further, the 40-mile Medio Fondo will follow the route of the Gran Fondo to the very top of Druidale – its first major climb. Participants will then branch off towards the Bungalow and the stunning closed roads descent of Tholt-Y-Will as they make their way back to Ramsey. Boasting one of the island’s most challenging ascents – as well as one of its very best descents – the Medio will offer many riders the perfect balance of effort and reward.

Aimed at families and beginners, the 20-mile Piccolo Fondo will wind its way around the peaceful coastline and flatter farmland of the Islands northern plains, through a patchwork of tiny villages and church steeples, set amongst the fields and blooming hedgerows. The Piccolo Fondo will be that little bit easier in 2019, with the steep ascent of Bride Hill removed as part of a shorter, flatter route held on almost entirely closed roads.

There is also a Fondo for our youngest cyclists in 2019, with the introduction of the family-friendly Minisculo Fondo, held over a half-mile circuit in and around Ramsey’s Mooragh Park. Open to children, families and beginners, participants will be able to complete as many laps as they can in an hour’s worth of riding in a safe, closed roads environment.

The Gran Fondo Isle of Man events will all start and finish in Ramsey’s fabulous Mooragh Park, which will also host the Riders Village. The Riders Village will feature a range of high quality food and beverage options for riders and their supporters to enjoy, with a giant LED screen showing coverage of stage 15 of The Tour de France – a key mountain stage from Limoux to Foix Prat d’Albis.
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Isle of Man Cyclefest Ltd is passionate about getting more people on bikes and Gran Fondo Isle of Man will be central to the organisers’ aim of encouraging greater participation in the sport. The Minisculo Fondo will offer children of all ages a unique riding experience in a safe and secure environment, while the Piccolo will be remodeled with a firm focus on families. Both events are ideal for beginners and recreational cyclists looking to enjoy the health benefits of an active lifestyle as well as build confidence when riding a bicycle on the road.

As part of this drive, Isle of Man Cyclefest Ltd will be hosting a number of coaching days aimed specifically at new and inexperienced cyclists aiming to take part in the Piccolo Fondo. These sessions are absolutely FREE and participants can take advantage of some expert coaching by former professional cyclists Rob Holden and Andrew Roche. Rob and Andrew will help build fitness and confidence for those who are new to cycling and who want to grasp the basic skills and knowledge.

To register your interest and for race entries go to and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at /iomcyclefest.

Full price entries are priced as follows:
– Gran Fondo £50
– Medio Fondo £30
– Piccolo Fondo £20
– Piccolo Fondo (Under 16’s) £10

20% ‘early bird’ discounts are available to midnight on 1st March 2019.

Age restrictions for each of the distances are as follows:
– Gran Fondo – over 16’s
– Medio Fondo – over 14’s
– Piccolo Fondo – over 8’s

What is a Grand Fondo
From Wikipedia – A Gran Fondo is a type of long-distance road cycling ride originating in Italy in 1970, and roughly translates into English as “Big Ride”. Italian Gran Fondos are officially defined and certified by the Italian Cycling Federation as a bicycle event at least 120 kilometres (75 mi) long, and are individually chip-timed (start to finish) races with prizes for the fastest riders in each category.[1] The starts are done en masse, and the format allows for riders of every level to participate, much like a marathon, where most participants are competing against the clock instead of other participants. Traditionally a large meal is served to the participants at the end of the event, and roads are shut down.


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