One of the top competitive cycling events in the USA, Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race, will include a gran fondo alongside the pro/elite race at the 2023 edition. The all-new Bike City Fondo will be held on Saturday 20 May in the bike friendly city of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Bike City Fondo will take place on the same weekend as the 4-day professional and elite Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race – the oldest stage race in the USA and one of only two UCI-sanctioned multi-day stage races in the country for both pro/elite men and women.
“We are excited to offer new opportunities for amateur cyclists as a part of the Walmat Joe Martin Stage Race weekend this year with the introduction of the Bike City Fondo on Saturday that will include options for every level of rider…,” Bruce Dunn, CEO of All Sports Productions said in a press release. “With the professional/elite Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race being competed Thursday through Sunday, the opportunities for spectating, riding, and racing in Fayetteville, Arkansas are unmatched in the region. We believe that this new approach and schedule will truly make this a cycling weekend to remember.”
Amateurs will have the opportunity to participate in Saturday’s fondos, presented by Experience Fayetteville, that will include chip-timing and competitive timed segments. The Fondo will have multiple road ride distances including a 30-mile piccolo fondo, 65-mile medio fondo and 105-mile gran fondo, as well as two gravel routes.
The gran fondo route will use the classic Devil’s Den Road Race course, a 105-mile up-and-down loop with 6600 feet of elevation gain through the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest south of Fayetteville. After 75-miles, just like pro riders in the past, competitors will encounter a seemingly never-ending 9-mile stair-step climb with an average grade of 3% that will likely be a competitive timed KOM segment. The start and finish will be in downtown Fayetteville.
Over 750 athletes and teams from 23 countries and all 50 states are expected to attend Joe Martin Stage Race events.
Bike City Fondo details and registration available HERE.
Photos: Joe Martin Stage Race