Italians started the gran fondo movement 50 years ago and it is no surprise they are now leading the charge to define safe alternative event formats that fit within limits imposed by new rules of social distancing.

In the heart of Italy in Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park last weekend over 400 riders participated in the sold-out 100km Il Giro nel Parco Granfondismo, a replacement event for Granfondo nel Parco Sarto which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The new normal granfondismo event offered masks before the start, no chip timing or rankings, classic rolling “French” style start with generous spacing,  old-school paper book to be stamped en-route, no refreshments and “no registration fee.”

Is this the new face of the Italian gran fondo?  Is it the future of amateur cycling events?  Who knows, but looking at the photos below it certainly seems everyone had a wonderful time – even without chip timing and competitive results.


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