The Isle of Man Gran Fondo cycling event is a true test of legs and lungs that rewards competitors with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and achievement. The event is held on a largely closed road course, boasting 7,500ft of spectacular climbing around 137 km parcours, and is one of only two true competitive Gran Fondo events staged in the British Isles. This year’s Gran Fondo is a qualification round for the prestigious 2023 UCI Gran Fondo World Series. Strambecco rates the event as one of the best cycling events in the UK.
Competitors will be faced with 25% gradients as they conquer each classic ascent, and the event is packed with the Island’s toughest climbs. The Gran Fondo gets underway in style with a mass rollout from Mooragh Park before the peloton is escorted out of the neutralized zone. The route is almost entirely held on closed roads, as well as an un-surfaced ‘Strade Bianche’ style blast through a forest plantation.
For recreational riders who want to test themselves that little bit further, the 72 km Medio Fondo boasts one of the Island’s most challenging ascents, as well as one of its very best descents. Medio offers riders the perfect balance of effort and reward. Aimed at families and beginners, the 32 km Piccolo Fondo winds its way around the flatter farmland of the Island’s northern plains through a patchwork of tiny villages and church steeples set amongst the fields and blooming hedgerows.
The family-friendly Minisculo Fondo, held over a 1 km circuit in and around Ramsey’s Mooragh Park, is open to children, families, and beginners. Participants can complete as many laps as they want in an hour’s worth of riding in a safe, fully closed roads environment. The Individual Time Trial takes in the climb of Snaefell Mountain on the infamous Isle of Man TT motorcycle racing circuit. The parcours cover just 9 km but should not be underestimated, with a total of 400 meters of climbing to overcome. Riders can use this event to qualify for the Time Trial at the UCI Gran Fondo World Series Final in Italy.
The Isle of Man Gran Fondo events all start and finish in Ramsey’s fabulous Mooragh Park, which will also host the Riders Village. The Riders Village features a range of high-quality food and beverage options for riders and their supporters to enjoy, with a giant LED screen showing live coverage of the World Tour Cycling from around the globe. The Riders Village also features a ‘Service Course’ offering pre-ride technical support from leading bike emporium Cycle 360 as well as Race HQ and Medical Facilities.
The Isle of Man is a beautiful cycling mad Island and an ideal destination for a cycling holiday. Cycling Specialists Sportive Breaks, working with the Isle of Man-based Mannlink Travel, can arrange full event packages including race entry, travel, and accommodation, as well as bespoke experiences including course recce, pasta party, bike transport to and from the British Isles and hotel and race transfers.
The UCI Granfondo World Series is a series of UCI-sanctioned races held all over the world. While promoting high-level competition for Masters and Amateurs, one of the aims of this series is the globalization of “Cycling for All.” With that in mind, the geographical spread of the events is very important, along with strict organizational and sporting criteria and tourism interests. The Isle of Man sits alongside established international destinations such as the traditional European Cycling heartlands of France, Switzerland, and Italy.
Ramsey is a town located on the northeastern coast of the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown Dependency located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Ramsey is the second largest town on the Isle of Man, with a population of around 7,000 people. It is known for its scenic beauty, with its location on the coast and proximity to the hills and mountains of the island.
The Isle of Man is a popular destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts, with a wide range of activities available to suit all levels of experience and ability. Some of the most popular outdoor sports activities on the Isle of Man include:
- Cycling: The Isle of Man is home to some of the most challenging and scenic cycling routes in the world, including the famous TT course. The island also has a number of off-road cycling trails for mountain bikers.
- Walking and Hiking: The Isle of Man has over 600 miles of public footpaths and bridleways, offering a range of walking and hiking opportunities. Some popular routes include the Raad ny Foillan coastal path and the hills and glens of the island’s interior.
- Water sports: The island’s coastal location makes it a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing are all popular activities.
- Golf: The Isle of Man has a number of golf courses, including the championship-standard Castletown Golf Links and the scenic Peel Golf Club.
- Horse Riding: Horse riding is a popular activity on the Isle of Man, with a number of equestrian centers offering lessons and guided rides.