Friday, May 22, 2009

Levi Leipheimer Creates GranFondo for Sonoma County

Santa Rosa, Calif.--Levi Leipheimer, the reigning and three-time Amgen Tour of California champion, is the instigator and patron of a new fundraising cycling event, Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo, on October 3 in Sonoma County. The primary beneficiary of the ride will be the Tour of California.

Levi Leipheimer, a resident of Santa Rosa, Calif., said, "This King Ridge GranFondo is the perfect way to show everyone what myself and many of the best cycling teams in the world have known for years: Sonoma County is a cycling heaven! There's nothing I enjoy more than showing off my training grounds to other cycling enthusiasts and sharing that passion for the bike."

Three different ride options, one of which includes the stunningly beautiful King Ridge Road, will take place in the golden light of fall in Sonoma County. The turning leaves, soft vineyards, tranquil valleys, and spectacular views of the rugged Sonoma coastline create an ambience of romance and adventure as participants pedal through some of the most glorious cycling country in the USA.

GranFondo, which means 'great endurance' in Italian, is a traditional out-of-season ride in Italy. In other countries, France, for example, it has another name: 'randonnee cyclosportive,' which translates as 'sporting bicycle tour.' The full ride, the GranFondo, is 103 miles. In addition to this, there are two shorter, easier routes: a 65-mile MedioFondo; and a 40-mile PiccoloFondo.

Locals will recognize from the King Ridge part of the name that Levi's GranFondo takes a challenging route, which is why the MedioFondo and PiccoloFondo routes are planned too. Riders looking for a nice flat course may opt for the PiccoloFondo that stays in the charming valley floors. A moderate day's pedal in beautiful countryside can be had in the MedioFondo, while those looking for the kind of terrain that Levi seeks on his hard training days will find it on the mountainous King Ridge GranFondo route.

The event raises funds for the Tour of California and an animal charity in Sonoma County. Registration is open now at

About Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo

The event is a Bike Monkey production, with Levi Leipheimer as the patron. The ride is organized with the collaboration and support of the City of Santa Rosa and the Santa Rosa Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Bike Monkey publishes a print and online magazine, as well as produces a series of mountain bike and cyclo-cross events in Sonoma County and around the Bay Area.

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