As Bob Dylan wrote “The times they are a changin,” especially with the growth of gran fondo events while stand-alone USA Cycling races struggle to make ends meet.
Sensing an opportunity to try something innovative and new, USA Cycling reached out to the Cherry-Roubaix Gran Fondo in Michigan asking them if they wanted to incorporate the State Road Championships as part of the gran fondo.
“The championship road race is interesting for our event because we are a mass start cycling event,” Cherry-Roubaix Media Director Tim Barrons told the Record Eagle. “It is going to be fun and different and we are pretty excited about hosting it.”
Rather than run separate races for the many USA Cycling categories, USA Cycling racers started en-mass, followed by gran fondo racers. After the finish, category results were sorted out via timing chip data – like European events.
In total, 466 riders lined up at the start, with 164 trying to become a Michigan state champion on the 60-mile medio fondo route.
In large field sprint, Nolan Vanderzaraag won the Michigan State Championship with a time of 2:31:15 or an average of 23.8mph for 60 miles. Bridgett Widrig won the women’s state title in 2:39:08, placing 81st overall.
Mike Piposar won the full length Cherry-Roubaix Gran Fondo race with a time 3:46:01 at an average speed of 23.8mph for 90 miles. The first 90-mile woman to finish was Wanda Hancock in 4:36:23, 20th position overall.
Full Cherry-Roubaix Gran Fondo results here.
GRAN FONDO CALENDAR NORTH AMERICA here
GRAN FONDO CALENDAR EUROPE here
GRAN FONDO CALENDAR UK GREAT BRITAIN here