Spring is the Optimal Time to Try Your Hand at a Granfondo
The great thing about any granfondos or sportives are that there is typically multiple separate routes to try depending on your cycling ability, meaning these wonderful events can be sampled by anyone.
While it may seem like a daunting prospect if you have never tried your hand at a large scale event, the spring season is the ideal time of year both from a rider’s point of you giving you plenty of time to prepare, as well as the perfectly balanced mild temperatures in mainland Europe.
Indeed, you may have had a go at one here in the UK, but what often catches people out is both the length of the climbs and the substantial heat, particularly in the summer. Therefore, spring usually presents cooler temperatures while remaining favourable to riding conditions, which culminates in the most pleasurable experience possible.
With that in mind let’s take a look at some of the best upcoming events around Europe.
Colnago Cycling Festival
In what will be the ninth edition of this spectacular festival, the Granfondo Colnago takes place on the southern side of Italy’s Lake Garda. Meandering along one of the most beautiful roads you are likely to find in Europe, the granfondo is the main event of the festival, which is due to take place between April 1st and 3rd 2022.
Three days of sport, racing and community all in the shadow of one of the most fascinating and picturesque scenes Italy has in its holster. Over 4,000 cyclists and 12,000 participants from over 23 countries around the world took part in the 2021 edition, so expect strictly good vibes only in the (hopefully) Italian sunshine.
Choose between two distances for the scheduled race on the Sunday, with a 145 km (2.130 meters of climbing) route, or the shorter 110 km (1,384 m of climbing).
Moving over to France now, where this one-day road race will return for its fifth edition. Due to take place on the 15th May 2022, the event will once again take place as a qualifier for the UCI Granfondo World Championships, with the final taking place in Trento, Italy this year.
Amongst the lush sweeping forests of La Bresse near the Swiss border, this race presents an exceptional day in the Vosges region which boasts wide, pristine roads and lots of fast downhills. As usual, it will offer you three different routes (175, 122 and 68km) to satisfy everyone’s expectations.
Registrations are still open but there is limited spaces, so be sure to secure your space if this looks like the one for you. Prices start at €30 for the shorter route, while the most substantial races are €45.
Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing excursion on this list, the Granfondo Squali takes place along Italy’s east coast and follows the breathtaking Adriatic expanse which separates the nation from the Balkans.
Scheduled to take place between May 13th-15th this year, there is an option to tackle either a 79km or the 140km route, but either way riders will take in moderate terrain with rolling short, steep hills and sustained climbs in places, looking out over the sparkling expanse of aquamarine.
Starting with the backdrop of the Aquarium of Cattolica just east of the sovereign nation of San Marino, you will follow the coastline, fork back into the deep Italian countryside and back round to this finish, where riders are met with a fresh seafood feast as a post-ride reward. Last year, nearly 3000 people took part with an astonishing 1250kg of mussels and bluefish dished out to participants – it is a true celebration of local tradition and sporting merit.