Legendary bicycle figure Ernesto Colnago was on hand to witness the first Granfondo bearing the name of his company in San Diego last Sunday. It was dubbed a day of 'Italian Style', with the event beginning in the city's Little Italy district, and riders escorted by a Ferrari and Ducati as they made their way around the outskirts of the city.
Over 1,000 riders took part, an indication of the US cycling market's willingness to embrace the Granfondo concept that has been prevalent in Europe for many years. Matthew Gerevini, founder of Granfondo USA LLC, a company that proposes to organise similar events in other American cities, said that, "It was an opportunity to once again export our 'Made in Italy' message."
The star of the show was undoubtedly Ernesto, however, who with grandson Alessandro in tow signed hundreds of autographs for fans of his work. Organisers hope this will be the beginning of many similar events throughout the US, capitalising on the passion demonstrated by American fans during the recent Tour of California, and the number of American professionals riding in Europe.