Who better than Mario Cipollini to put the grand into gran fondo?
With 191 victories on his palmares, many in the world’s most prestigious races, the 2002 world road race champion is a genuine road race legend. Here’s your chance to ride alongside him.
Less than a month from now, the Lion King will be holding court at the Redwood Country Club near Bristol at a sportive with a difference.
Entries are still open for the Mario Cipollini Gran Fondo and those signing up for the full two-day experience will begin the event with a three-course gala dinner at the country club.
Dinner guests will have the chance to put questions to Cipo, and the after dinner speech will be given by Matt Stephens, general manager of Team IG-Sigma Sport, and a former teammate of the Italian sprinter.
Sunday begins with tea, coffee, and pastries, and, for those who have booked, a massage. After a short briefing, the riders will roll out on a 115km course through Cheddar Gorge and the Mendips at 9am.
Two feeding stations are included, and in keeping with the flamboyance of the host, go far beyond the energy bars and instant coffee of conventional sportives. Hand-cut sandwiches and freshly ground coffee will greet riders at the first stop, while a buffet style lunch awaits those who reach the final stop.
Mechanical and medical support, electronic timing, and a broom wagon will all be included.