The Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant is set to hit the Laurentians on Saturday, May 28. With 1,400 cyclists already registered, cycling season is gearing into full swing six weeks out from the event. A personal challenge more than a competitive event, the ride takes participants along scenic roads around the Mont-Tremblant ski resort offering distances accessible to riders of all abilities. Being participant-driven and open to all riders is one of the key features of the event with 50 per cent with last years riders experiencing their first gran fondo.
The early season event is a good way to gear into shape with a good challenge before the summer comes around. “For recreational cyclists, this is a great way to start the season on the right foot,” said David Veilleux, research and development engineer with Devinci, a Gran Fondo ambassador, and the first Quebecer to complete the Tour de France. “Experienced cyclists see it as an opportunity to do a long-distance ride early in the season. In cycling terms, this is known as basic endurance; it lays the foundation for endurance all summer long and faster recovery from exertion.”
The landscape around Mont-Tremblant is excellent for riding with smooth roads, rolling hills and lakes. As a venue, Tremblant is well equipped for a large cycling event with many restaurants, activities and hotels. New this year is the Devinci Sunset ride on Friday evening that is free to all Gran Fondo participants. It will prepare first-time participants with an introductory clinic that will provide all the basics for riding in a peloton. While cyclists with more experience can do a recon ride with David Veilleux to familiarise themselves with the area.
Activities planned throughout the weekend include an official dinner, music, a cocktail reception and the chance to visit industry kiosks. On Sunday morning there will be a Coffee Ride for those who want to finish the weekend with some extra mileage.
The courses have also been reviewed for 2016. The ascent at Lac Quenouille and the Val-des-Lacs portion have been eliminated and instead a stretch along the Nordet has been added to the 125-km and lengthened for the 160-km ride. The Gran Fondo offers a selection of rides suitable for experienced racers looking to do a full century to recreational riders and beginners. The event offers the 45-km Mollo Fondo, the 80-km Medio Fondo, the 125-km Gran Fondo and the 160-km Super Fondo.
The event is capped at 2,000 participants for 2016. To register or for more information see granfondotremblant.ca/