Clermont was selected as one of six American cities to host a Gran Fondo-style cycling event proving, once again, Clermont is the “Choice of Champions.”
City officials and community leaders gathered near the imminent site of Victory Pointe to hear the official announcement. Clermont City Manager Darren Gray introduced Steve Meckfessel, the FCCUSA national series director to describe the upcoming cycling event.
The event is one of the stops on the newly-created Fondo Cycling Circuit USA (FCCUSA), a collection of Gran Fondo cycling events offering 30, 50 and 75-mile ride options.
Gran Fondo events are recreational but also include timed sections along the route. Steve said the new American circuit events will culminate with live music, food trucks, and craft-beer festivals.
Gran Fondo is a long-distance bicycle ride that originated in Italy in 1970. The term roughly translates into “Big Ride.”
In addition to Clermont, the other five host cities include Akron, Ohio; Davidson, N.C.; Fredericksburg, Va.; Harrisburg, Pa. and Ridgeland, Miss.
“Our host cities are all highly-regarded cycling destinations within their respective regions,” Meckfessel said. “Each location is also a draw for entertainment, with historical, cultural and recreational options, and is located within a two-to-three-hour drive of major metropolitan areas. Clermont is ideal, and we’re excited to partner with the city.”
The event will be one of the first events to be held after the completion of the Victory Pointe project. Clermont City Manager Darren Gray said the city was thrilled to be chosen as part of the new cycling circuit. “We believe it’s the perfect event to launch Victory Pointe,” Gray said, referring to the new, passive park scheduled to open this summer. The passive park is designed to treat stormwater and also serve as a new event destination on Lake Minneola near downtown Clermont.
Lake County and Epic Cycles World have signed up to be sponsors of Clermont’s Gran Fondo. Meckfessel said triathlon legend Fred Sommer helped design the course, which will be announced soon.
“We are excited to be part of this great event and look forward to making all the athletes feel welcome,” said Epic Cycles World owner Roman Brana.
Online registration is now open at FondoCyclingCircuitUSA.com. The first 100 cyclists to register for the FCCUSA event’s 50 and 75-mile routes receive a free Pearl Izumi Select Escape LTD cycling jersey. All participants receive a T-shirt, sling bag, finisher medal, water bottle, tickets to the food trucks and craft beer, plus other amenities.
Fondo Facts At A Glance
What is the FCCUSA?
Fondo Cycling Circuit USA is a six-city event series attracting both recreational and competitive cyclists who compete in one of three distances: 30, 50 or 75 miles. While recreational, several timed sections along each route offer a competitive element for cyclists looking for a challenge. In the end, it’s all about personal achievement. The two-day event is comprised of a retail expo, athlete check-in and late registration on Saturday followed by the rides on Sunday. Each FCCUSA event culminates with a food truck and craft beer festival with live music.
When is the FCCUSA event in Florida?
The Fondo Cycling event will be in Clermont, the Choice of Champions®, on Sept. 30, 2018.
Where will it be? Where can I find out the course?
The start and finish will be at Clermont’s soon-to-be-revealed Victory Pointe, a new destination at Clermont’s popular Waterfront Park. Victory Pointe is located at 938 Victory Way.
What can riders expect?
Some of the defining characteristics include a mass start of all riders and several electronically-timed sections along the route. While these events are not races, many cyclists like to compare their performance against other participants.
What can spectators expect?
Friends, families and cycling enthusiasts, as well as the general public, are welcome to enjoy the food trucks, craft-beer festival and live music.
Why was Clermont chosen?
FCCUSA wanted to have an event in Florida, and according to Steve Meckfessel, “Clermont was the obvious choice given the area’s rolling terrain, lightly-traveled roads, its central location near Orlando and Tampa as well as the city’s reputation for hosting endurance events.
What is the potential economic impact?
Event organizers expect 500 riders this inaugural year. Many of the participants will be traveling two-plus hours and spending the night in local hotels.
When will the course be announced?
The course is essentially complete, and FCCUSA is in the process of getting the necessary permits. The course will be announced on the FCCUSA website www.fondocyclingcircuitusa.com and the City of Clermont website www.clermontfl.gov.