One of America’s hardest gran fondos, the Vermont Gran Fondo taking place on 25 June 2022, will now qualify amateur cyclists for the USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships, but first riders need to make it to the top of the steepest paved mile in America.

The 109 miles long 8th edition of the Vermont Gran Fondo with 10,350 feet of climbing has joined the Gran Fondo National Series circuit, which hosts national championship qualifying races throughout the United States.

The Vermont Gran Fondo will challenge wannabe national champion cyclists with it’s legendary 4-gap route in the rugged Green Mountains of Vermont on the famous LAMB course. The acronym comes from the names of the four gaps: Lincoln Gap, Appalachian Gap, Middlebury Gap, and Brandon Gap.

Lincoln Gap, with a 24% maximum gradient and an average of 15%, is rated as the steepest paved mile in America by Bicycling Magazine and one of the world’s steepest climbs by Global Cycling Network.

Yes, every rider switchbacks across the road (or dismounts and walks) to reach the summit, but the top three men and women who do it fastest will be awarded Green Mountain Gap Challenge trophies.

If that’s not hard enough, the gran fondo route also includes about a 10 mile stretch of iconic Vermont dirt road riding too. The organiser promises the roads to be hard-packed and “easily traversed.”

Gran fondo riders finishing in the top 25% of their gender/age category will automatically qualify to attend the USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships in Asheville, North Carolina on 17 July.

Photos: Vermont Gran Fondo