GRAN FONDO COLNAGO LOS ANGELES: CYCLING, CINEMA AND LOTS OF GLAMOUR Breathtaking start from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for the first edition. Over 1300 participants, greeted by Ernesto Colnago, Italian institutions and actor Andy Garcia.
Los Angeles (Ca, USA) June 27, 2011 – Beautiful Californian sun, a glamorous backdrop for the start line and stunning courses: the first edition of Gran Fondo Colnago Los Angeles could not have ask for more! Lined up in Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the world’s most famous shopping destination, more than 1300 cyclists embraced their ride towards two beautiful routes and one of California’s classic climbs, Piuma Road, with the Pacific Ocean into clear site.
Gran Fondo USA is definetly becoming the rising star in the American sport calendar, thanks also to the strong “Italian” theme that the organizers propose.
Gran Fondo Colnago Los Angeles was part of a week-long series of events dedicated to Italy (the “Italian Week”) and the celebration of its 150th anniversary of Unification. From movies to the motors, from jewelery to cyclism: the “Made in Italy” was at the heart of all happenings on Rodeo Drive from June 19 to the 26. The format proposed by Matteo Gerevini, founder of Gran Fondo USA, was a perfect match for the series, which conquered Rodeo Drive.
“I am truly honored to be able to host such a unique event in our City,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Barry Brucker addressing the crowd. “It’s officially our first bike ride in Beverly Hills and I hope this becomes a yearly event for us.” Along the Mayor and in representation of the Italian institutions, there was Ambassador Umberto Vattani, president of the Italian Worldwide Trade Offices and visiting L.A. for the Italian Week. “Seen from here, you are an ocean, more than those who joined Garibaldi in his famous expedition!” Also in attendance were Nicola Faganello, Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, Carlo Bocchi, Director of the Italian Trade Commission offices in Los Angeles and Jimmi Jahant, presidet of the Rodeo Drive Committee and of Brooks Brothers. But what thrilled the crowd, was the presence of legendary bike manufacturer Ernesto Colnago who participated later on to the expo and made himself available for autographs and photos.
Also at the expo, the stardust of Hollywood arrived thanks to the attendance of Andy Garcia. The actor/producer is an avid cyclist and wanted to meet iconic Colnago, who presented him a personalized bike. The two spent time at the VIP tent, where fans and curious people greeted them.
The day went by very fast, enjoying the lively pasta party, great wines and Italian arias. It was even possible to win a free trip to Italy and a stay of one week to selected hotels, compliments of Alitalia and Italy Bike Hotels. Michael Carter, Assistant Director Sportif for Team Type 1, a professional men’s cycling team and global organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with diabetes (beneficiary of Gran Fondo Los Angeles), won the King of the Mountain. His time was 23’40” completed at the Piuma climb (1,500 feet ascent in 5 miles!). The Queen of the Mountain was Countouriotis Athena, with a time of 28’52”.
“The event in Beverly Hills was a sort of test for us and we passed it, delivering a superb event in a location so special,” said Matteo Gerevini, founder of Gran Fondo USA. “We can say that American cyclists love our model. The fact that more and more people is trying to copy us, is a proof of our evident success”.
Sponsors include Colnago, Alitalia, FSA, Campagnolo, Fulcrum, Gaerne, Speedplay, Cuore Italiano, Villa Sandi, the Italian Trade Commission, GU Energy, Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco wineries (owned by the Ferragamo family), Maxxis, Italy Bike Hotel, Il Palagetto winery, the Beverly Hilton and the Beverly Hills Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Gran Fondo USA series will continue with its second edition in Philadelphia (August 14) and in Miami (November 20).