The flagship ride for Gran Fondo Hincapie brought more than 2,000 cyclists to the mountains of Greenville, South Carolina for an epic weekend of riding, partying, and celebrating all things cycling.
The Gran Fondo Hincapie experience is so much more than the ride. Prior to Saturday’s event, guests spent the week enjoying gourmet meals, meeting professional cyclists, and volunteering. Thursday Hincapie ambassadors packed meals at Meals on Wheels (Gran Fondo Hincapie-Greenville’s beneficiary charity), while that evening guests enjoyed a meal prepared by chef and cyclist Matthew Accarrino at the Hublot Evening with the Stars. And then Friday, everyone scored some deals at the Hincapie Sportswear Warehouse Sale before sampling culinary creations at the annual Celebrity Chef Dinner presented by Yasso and Hublot.
There were more than a few familiar faces this weekend in the starting corral. This year’s lineup included cycling greats Christian Vande Velde, Bobby Julich, Lance Armstrong, Michael Rogers, and Craig Lewis. Also attending were US Road Champion Justin Williams, as well as Colombian legend Victor Hugo Pena. More acclimated to racing on four wheels, Team Penske racers Ricky Taylor and Simon Pagenaud, as well as the “Ironman of IndyCar Racing” Tony Kanaan, were at the start line. And any race wouldn’t be complete without America’s favorite “Amazing Race” host, Phil Keoghan.
From Skyuka’s challenging descent and Saluda Grade’s picturesque views to the short-but-steep Callahan Mountain climb, Gran Fondo Hincapie-Greenville’s course was not for the faint of heart. Add to that the rain and cold, and riding took some major determination. But that just made the finish line even sweeter.
Every rider received a medal for finishing, and the top finishers earned prizes ranging from Michelin tires to 100% sunglasses and Hincapie gift cards. In addition, two lucky riders were randomly selected to receive free Scott bikes. Meals on Wheels also received a check for their organization and thanked riders for their contributions.
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