Tre…duo…Uno…”GO!” The countdown, led by Italian Consul General Perrone kicked off the 2013 Beverly Hills Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia. This year’s race had more than 1,000 cyclists (!) riding one of two grueling courses along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway and into the challenging yet scenic mountains above Malibu.
The experience at the race this year was pleasant and very well organized from the beginning to end; Efficiency and great race support was the name of the game this year. Registration took place in the courtyard of the beautiful Montage hotel in Beverly Hills.
Riders were quickly given their race numbers along with some useful S.W.A.G.- a Camelbak water bottle, a nifty tote, and some chamois butter samples, among other things—after which, we were directed to the starting line on the corner of Beverly Dr. and S. Santa Monica Blvd.
In attendance from the Bicycle.net team were Az Aharon, Seth Nayowitz, Joey Sokol and Ezra Grabie.
The CHP and Beverly Hills Police escorted the Peloton from the starting point in Beverly Hills to the foot of the Race’s first climb, Topanga Canyon. CHP Motorcycle officers were still seen during the climbs from time to time, watching out for the safety of the cyclists.
As a participant in the 48 mi. course this year, I can say with full confidence that the course was planned brilliantly! The roads were all in great condition, we were kept away from dangerous streets as much as possible and the climbs were outstanding. Speaking with a fellow rider after the race, we agreed that course felt like the longest 50 mi. either of us had ever ridden-due in large part to the challenging Topanga climbs, the absolutely brutal Hayvenhurst climb (a half mile at 12.8%!), and finally the rolling terrain of Mulholland Dr.
For those wanting even more of a challenge, the 90 mile course offered additional climbs up Kanan Rd and the world famous Piuma Rd, with the latter hosting the KOM segment of the race.
Throughout the ride, the race organizers provided well stocked aid stations with a wide variety of sandwiches, gels, bars and drinks. There was even cheese and crackers for those with more sophisticated tastes.
The finish line for both courses was on the west side of the Beverly Hills Police department. Riders were greeted warmly by Bruce and offered a race medal. There were also plenty of drinks and snacks for riders at the finish line.
Festivities continued for the riders back in the courtyard of the Montage hotel. There, riders were treated to delicious assortments of pasta, bread and desserts. In addition to the food, cycling’s leading brands were represented by booths displaying the latest gear and components the sport has to offer.
Everyone we spoke with had only the highest praise for the event, and plan on coming back next year. And for those who missed it, we encourage you to join us next year for another fantastic event.
We at Bicycle.net want to especially thank Daniella, one of the Race’s lead organizers, for of her hard work and planning. This year was a blast and we can’t wait to see what next year has in store!