Yesterday saw the UK’s first true, fully closed road “Gran Fondo”, as well as a 28 km closed road time trial the day before.
A Gran Fondo is much like one of the big city marathons, such as London’s, where professionals and top amateurs are at the front, with loads of others completing their personal challenges behind them. There were 8 age group categories. Prizes were on offer across the age categories and it was good to see that the prize money was on an equal basis for men and women.
Nearly 5000 took part, which resulted in it taking quite some minutes to get everybody across the start line and on their way into the countryside. The event started and finished at the Peterborough Arena, otherwise known as the Showground, which has the benefit of large amounts of car parking.
Here are our Spy rider’s positive points from the experience:
• Well organised
• Registering was quick and easy
• Closed roads were great – more events like this please!
• The welcoming and cheering crowds in every village along the route were wonderful
• Fast and flat course (let’s hope it is less windy next time) through mainly wonderful countryside (we’ll forget the loop around the DHL container yard)
And some points for improvement:
• Officially it was 128km but came in at 133km. Not appreciated when legs were dying at the end!
• More toilets needed at the event centre (one block was locked in the morning)
• The strange British confusion between metric and imperial, let’s have some consistency please! Website states 128km, yet the elevation plans are in feet – why not in metres?! We’ve only been metric for 44 years, we ought to be ableto get it right by now.
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