The United States joined a small but growing list of countries around the world that have held an in-person gran fondo in 2021.  While the rest of the country endures a long cold winter, warm Mesquite, Nevada, just north of Las Vegas, hosted the Mesquite Madness gran fondo on Saturday 20 March.

With a government mandated coronavirus cap of 500 participants, 492 cyclists started on 35, 65 and 90 mile routes at 07:30 with the temperature already 70F and on the way to a high of 80F.

The sunny routes flowed through a trifecta of native Southwestern landscapes in Nevada, Arizona  and Utah.  The 90 mile route included the 15 miles long and 3000 feet Cat 1 climb up Utah “Hill” into the Beaver Dam Mountains.

Former Utah State Time Trail champion Justin Wagner time trialed his way to victory in 4:01:40 on the 90 mile route, over 30 minutes ahead of second place Andrew Judkins (4:34:03) and third place Jeremy Ostler (4:34:22).   Kathy Robinson won the Women’s event.

Worldwide Gran Fondo and Gravel Event Calendar