When four time World Time Trial Champion and all-around cycling bad-ass Fabian Cancellara, aka Spartacus, retired from processional racing in 2016, he was not done with the sport, he was just getting started. In 2017 he launched his global gran fondo series, Chasing Cancellara, to provide amateurs with a unique “Spartacus” style gran fondo experience.
For 2020 Chasing Cancellara offers 4 gran fondos, with the first on March 22 in Flanders, Belgium. Offered as a “Spring Classic,” Chasing Cancellara Flanders takes riders up famous Pro Tour climbs such as Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Kappelmuur and Koppenberg. With a 120km of Belgian Bergs and cobbles, it will be memorable, especially if it rains – or snows.
The series continues on June 1 on the Swiss-German boarder in Gippingen, Switzerland with the 87km Dillier Classic. Plenty of punchy climbs and gravel highlight this course used by AG2R La Mondiale Pro rider Sylvan Dillier for training.
For the third event, 500 lucky riders will ride with Cancellara from Berne to Andermatt, Switzerland in the heart of the Swiss Alps on July 3. With close to 5500m elevation gain over 200km, the race takes riders past Interlaken and Meiringen before climbing Grimselpass, Nufenenpass and Passo San Gottardo. In true Spartacus style, Passo San Gottardo will be ridden on the old cobbled “Tremola.”
The final Chasing Cancellara gran fondo race is billed as the toughest one-day race in Switzerland, 290km from Zurich to Zermatt with 7000m climbing. This one is so tough, riders will start just after midnight, with the final riders expected to reach Zermatt 16 hours later.