What does it take to compete in a Gran Fondo?

What does it take to compete in a Gran Fondo?


Firstly, what is a Gran Fondo?

Gran Fondo is an Italian term which loosely translates to “Big Ride”.


Gran Fondo’s are mass participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and have become popular in North America, Asia, Australia and increasingly, worldwide.

In the UK, we are lucky enough to have one of best Gran Fondos in the world – the Tour of Cambridgeshire, which includes a Race Category’ for those who want to race, and even qualify for the World Amateur Championships!


So, what does it take to compete in a Gran Fondo?

Steve Fry rode the 2016 Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo as his first ever venture in to competitive cycling. Rowe & King have analysed Steve’s ‘toughest, yet most enjoyable day on a bike’, to see what is required to finish 65 places outside qualification for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.



Qualification would require a performance gain of 4%.


Recommendation’s to Steve;

  • Higher threshold is required to absorb the workload required in the first hour.

  • Increased ‘general fitness’ and a more even pacing strategy will prevent significant fatigue during final hour.

  • Increased 3 to 5 minutes’ power output needed to hold on to a faster group at the start will mean Steve will then spend the rest of the race in the wheels, travelling much faster.


Want to ensure you complete your next Gran Fondo or Sportive in as best a shape as possible? Want to climb those hills faster and have more endurance? Get in touch to see how Rowe & King can help you achieve your goals – contact@roweandking.com