Gran Fondo USA 2011: Ready, Set... Ride!

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San Diego to host its Third Annual Gran Fondo Colnago

The start of the Gran Fondo in Little Italy, San Diego

"Gran Fondo USA brings the spirit of Italy to America, in this case through the great tradition of Italian cycling." Carlo Pitti, VP of Marketing, Alitalia Airlines

Gran Fondo USA, the exciting cycling event phenomenon winning the hearts of bicycle enthusiasts nationwide, is ready to kick off its 2011 season on Sunday, April 10, 2011 in San Diego. Participants will ride along 53-mile and 100-mile routes through scenic San Diego County, starting at 7:15 a.m. in the heart of iconic Little Italy. They will cross the finish line a few hours later at the historic County Administration Building. This will be the third edition of Gran Fondo Colnago in San Diego, followed by the June 26 debut of Gran Fondo Colnago Los Angeles (departure scheduled from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills!).

Gran Fondo means "Big Ride" in Italian. They are long distance, mass-participation cycling events - not races - that are immensely popular in Italy. Participation is open to recreational and competitive amateur cyclists, and tens of thousands of riders of all abilities participate. Just like in Italy, each Gran Fondo USA event includes a mass start, and two challenging routes: typically a 100 Mile, and a 50 mile one. Each event also include a consumer expo, well-stocked aid stations, mobile tech support, a VIP gala night and a post-ride Italian lunch. "The success of our events comes from our strong commitment to the 'Made in Italy' theme," reveals co-founder Gerevini.

"We are proud supporters of the Gran Fondo of San Diego and Los Angeles," says Nicola Faganello, Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles. "This event is a great opportunity to showcase the 'Italian Way of Life' in this part of the United States, fostering and promoting Italian excellences on the American market."

Sponsors of the event include Colnago, Campagnolo, Alitalia Airlines, Fulcrum, Gaerne, Speedplay, , FSA, Cuore Italiano, Villa Sandi, the Italian Trade Commission, GU Energy, Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco wineries (owned by the Ferragamo family), Prologo, Maxxis, Italy Bike Hotel, Active.com, Ride Strong Bike Tours and Il Palagetto winery. Beneficiaries of the San Diego edition are the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the American Melanoma Foundation.

The Gran Fondo USA events are fun-filled weekends dedicated to cycling, the active lifestyle and all things Italian. Don't miss the opportunity to ride through the cities, visit the expo piazza, enjoy the post-race pasta parties, provided in San Diego by the restaurant Via Italia from Encinitas, and dine at the VIP gala showcasing Italian food and more!

For additional information about upcoming events, please visit http://www.granfondousa.com.

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DANIELA PUGLIELLI

908 212 7846
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