Event Joins International Cycling Union's World Cycling Tour

Gran Fondo New York is excited to be a qualifying race of the UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) for the 2011 UCI Amateur Cycling World Championship. UWCT is rewriting the history of amateur cycling. Athletes of all ages will gather at events across the globe to chase the dream of competing at the World Championship. As one of six qualifying events in 2011, Gran Fondo New York sends the top 10% of each Age Group to Belgium where the World Championship finale will take place on the famed roads of of the Belgian classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

At Gran Fondo New York, the competition consists of four challenging climbs that will be timed and count towards UCI Amateur World Championship qualification. The four timed climbs are added together to determine a total time and the overall ranking. The top 10% of each Age Group will qualify for the 2011 UWCT World Championship in Belgium. Furthermore, the introduction of a Challenger Category gives an opportunity to showcase young talent in the ranks to become professional cyclists of the future.

The World Championship final will be a city to city race in Belgium in early September. The race will start with a loop of 100 km (60 miles) over the monuments of Liège-Bastogne-Liège with Cote de Stoumont, Cote de Wanne, Cote de la Haute Levée, Cote du Rosier, Cote de la Vecquee, Cote de Macquisard and finally Cote de la Redoute. After the initial course, riders will do five local laps in Remouchamps-Aywaille. Each loop will include a steep 1 kilometer climb per lap (14k).

The world's cyclists are getting excited about Gran Fondo New York. The event is drawing a strong local, national and very international field with athletes representing 31 countries. Lidia Fluhme, the race organizer, points out: "The competition for World Championship qualification and the great awards prizes will be fierce at Gran Fondo New York. We joined the UCI World Cycling Tour series because we strongly believe in the future of amateur racing. Triathlon and running have shown the importance of including amateurs in key events to ensure sustainability and growth."

Prizes at GFNY are valued at more than $100,000. Winners of all categories will receive special winners' jerseys by Giordana. Podium finishers of all categories win fantastic prizes from event sponsors. The King and Queen of Mountain will ride home on their new PINARELLO road bikes. Other prizes include MAVIC racing wheels, DIADORA shoes, LIMAR helmets and shades, SELLE SAN MARCO saddles and much, much more. Additionally, raffle prizes will be distributed throughout the awards ceremony.