Interesting approach by USA Cycling. According to them, this is an effort to grow cycling and support those who do not like to race. But is this initiative actually transforming Fondos into races?
I think it will, if not this first year, over time. I find that even Fondos become a little competitive, at least the ones I do, Farm to Fork, because they do have a Stages Cycling segment challenge. I think it will be interesting to hear what those doing Grans think - this summer will be my first Gran and my goal is to finish!
The fondos and sportives I’ve taken part in here in the UK are usually a dangerous mix of people treating them as a race and those just wanting to complete the distance. Not helped by the organisers creating gold, silver and bronze time brackets for gander and age group - this only encourages people to treat it as a race against the clock, push far too hard and often ends with nasty crashes and fatalities.
I am not sure how this will get more people interested in cycling, especially women. Seems like it is a potential recipe to confirm all the bad stereotypes about cyclists. I kind of love that none of the fondos out here are timed. That’s what helps make them more inclusive because no one feels like it is a competition, it’s just a bunch of people riding their bikes together. Sure, there are people who race them, but they get no recognition for their efforts and most people couldn’t really care less about them.