Starting and ending in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the GFNS Gran Fondo Asheville National Championship race challenged riders with a 100-mile route.

The championship event was open to any and all cyclists, with no special racing license is needed.

NINA LAUGHLIN (C) SMILES BEFORE CRUSHING THE COMPETITION. ©CTS

350 rider from across the United States raced over four timed segments, with the goal of completing all segments in the least amount of time.  This GFNS “timed segment” approach to bike racing is slightly “easier” than events where riders race from start to finish.

Easier does not mean easy though, each timed segment was up a challenging Blue Ridge Mountain climb with temperatures close to 90 degrees and humidity near 65% –  in other words, conditions were miserable.

Local pro racer Nina Laughlin (CTS CYCLING) won the overall women’s category with a time of 1:15:19 for the four timed segments, beating second place rider Deborah Finger by over 18 minutes.

TEAM CHAMPIONS DRUNKEN DRAGON. ©DRUNKENDRAGON

Elite category 1 racer Owen Shott (VELOBREW RACING) from Orange Park, Florida was the overall men’s winner, completing the segments in a combined time of 1:08:11 to also claim a GFNS National Championship title.

Drunken Dragon/EIMC Racing took home the 4-person team prize with a combined time of 4:50:29 for riders Noah Niwinski, Paul Capua, Nelson Angulo and Gabriel Larrea.

Full results with age category national champion winners here.

Asheville will host the GFNS National Championships again in 2020.

GRAN FONDO CALENDAR NORTH AMERICA here

GRAN FONDO CALENDAR EUROPE here

GRAN FONDO CALENDAR UK GREAT BRITAIN here