Gran Fondo Hincapie to make its way through Polk County

Published 12:18 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

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Thousands of enthusiasts expected to participate in annual bicycle ride


POLK COUNTY—The 12th annual Gran Fondo Hincapie, a bicycle ride covering over 80 miles that begins in Greenville County, will be making its way through the area on Saturday, October 21, bringing over 2,000 cyclists to Polk County. The race is named after George Hincapie and covers the same routes the well-known cyclist used while training for the Tour de France.

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The ride features “awe-inspiring views, celebrity cyclists and careful attention to safety,” according to its website. Three routes will make up the race: the 81-mile Gran, the 55-mile Medio and the 14-mile Piccolo.

Covering “epic climbs, including the infamous Skyuka Mountain KOM and switchbacks on Green River Cove,” cyclists will first arrive via Hwy. 11 and Oak Grove Rd. in Landrum, before winding their way through the Lake Lanier area. Cyclists will then head down Trade St., make their way through downtown Tryon and continue to Saluda via Hwy. 176 or continue to Lynn and Skyuka Mountain, depending on the route.

The Gran route will lead cyclists up Skyuka Mountain Rd. and down White Oak Mountain Rd., back to Hwy. 176 via Warrior Mountain Rd., through the Saluda area via Ozone Dr., Green River Cove Rd. and Holbert Cove Rd., then back through downtown Saluda and towards its terminus via Greenville St.

The ride begins at 9 a.m. at Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest, and the first cyclists are expected to be in the area around 9:30 a.m. Last year, more than 2,500 riders participated in the event, which includes the timed race and festivities for cyclists and cycling enthusiasts. 

There will be four rest stops in the county, including one in Tryon hosted by Nature’s Storehouse. Traffic management is being coordinated by Polk County Emergency Management Director Bobby Arlrdge. Trade Street will be open but intersections will be blocked from time to time, with Tryon Fire Department, Tryon Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Office personnel manning them for safety and traffic flow.

“Emergency service agencies from across the county have met and come up with a plan to assist with traffic control at dangerous intersections,” Arledge said. “We ask the public to be mindful of the riders on the road and give themselves extra time if they are traveling.” 

The event should bring more patrons to area businesses over the weekend and help promote local tourism. For more information, visit