Join the professionals on Saturday’s Gran Fondo Hincapie bicycle ride

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cycling opportunities and cycling weather get no better than for this Saturday’s Gran Fondo Hincapie, centered around Hotel Domestique (near Travelers Rest, S.C.) and coursing through the Blue Ridge foothills in Polk, Henderson, Greenville and Spartanburg counties.

Riders will share the roads with retired professional bicycle racer George Hincapie, who competed in 17 Tour de France races, and with other aspiring, active and retired professionals. Rides begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 21 at Hotel Domestique, and also end there.

Riders can choose from the Gran (80 miles and 8,100 feet of elevation gain), the Medio (50 miles and 4,156 feet of gain), and the Piccolo (15 miles and 663 feet of gain). The Gran represents one of George Hincapie’s favorite training rides.

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 Sheriff departments from the four counties will provide road closures and traffic control, to protect riders.

 Brothers George and Rich Hincapie (himself a retired pro cyclist) share what makes the Gran Fondo Hincapie one of the most popular rides in the U.S. Some of the world’s top riders, advanced amateurs and novice cyclists join together for a weekend of food, fun and celebration, all for the love of cycling.

Riders can register Friday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Hincapie Sportswear (45 Pete Hollis Blvd., Greenville, SC; 866-359-4796), or at Hotel Domestique (10 Road of Vines, just off Old U.S. Route 25; 864-516-1715) on Saturday from 6:30-8 a.m. Registration fees include specially prepared food and beverages at numerous rest stops. Fees benefit Meals on Wheels, Greenville County, S.C.

 Local residents are encouraged to cheer on riders as they pass through Tryon. The first rest stop will be at Nature’s Storehouse, 427 South Trade Street, Tryon. The second stop in our area will be at Saluda Elementary School, Main Street, just west of Ozone Drive. First riders are expected to reach Tryon by about 9:50-10 a.m., and Saluda before 11, with other riders following.