The Valley Ride (33 miles), 10 am start
This route features two timed segments and is a great introduction to Botetourt County roads. After leaving Fincastle, you'll roll down scenic back roads toward the James River and your first timed segment on smooth but, rolling road. After an aid station in Buchanan, you'll ride toward Troutville on the gorgeous Bike 76 route, before heading back to Fincastle and your second timed segment.
The Mountain Ride (75 miles), 8 am start
For those who want more of a challenge in elevation and distance, this route is for you! This route has three timed segments, including the "Caldwell Mountain" climb. After the start, you'll wind your way from Fincastle on back roads before turning toward the climb of Caldwell Mountain. After several miles of gradual climbing, the road kicks up for 1.5 miles to the summit. The fast, twisting descent will take you into Craig County and your first aid station. You'll ride along beautiful Craig Creek on your way through Oriskany and Eagle Rock, where you will find the next aid station. You'll parallel the James River on your way to the next timed segment, just before the aid station in Buchanan. From Buchanan, it's a beautiful ride on the Bike 76 route toward Fincastle and your final timed segment.
Start/Finish: Courthouse Square, 1 West Main Street, Fincastle, VA 24090. Just north of Roanoke and only a few minutes from I-81, the start/finish is in "downtown" Fincastle, the county seat of Botetourt County, which celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2020. Come experience the local charm and the cool vibes of this historic village. Looking for lodging or other things to do in Botetourt County?
The Rides: A partner event in the Gran Fondo National Series, Virginia's Blue Ridge Gran Fondo will feature three different routes -- 33, 43, and 75 miles. Each route has been carefully crafted to showcase Botetourt County's rich scenic beauty and it's warm & welcoming communities. Riders will enjoy the area's natural beauty including the rolling terrain, open farmland, forested mountains, and the James River. Each route will also feature memorable aid stations and charming small towns. This ride will NOT be timed from start to finish. Each route will have several sections that will be chip timed. Click here for a list of timed segments. (updated 9/26/2023) Ride these sections hard if you want to, then regroup after. You'll still be able to stop and relax at all the aid stations.
The River Ride (43 miles), 9 am start
This route has three timed segments, including the climb of Timber Ridge. After leaving Fincastle, you'll head north toward Eagle Rock, before looping back over the Timber Ridge climb. After your second timed segment on a smooth, but rolling road, you'll reach the Buchanan aid station. You'll ride toward Troutville on the gorgeous Bike 76 route, before heading backtoward Fincastle and your final timed segment.
The Valley Ride: $70 before 7/1; $80 from 7/1 to 9/30; $90 from 10/1 to ride day
The River Ride: $80 before 7/1; $90 from 7/1 to 9/30; $100 from 10/1 to ride day
The Mountain Ride: $100 before 7/1; $110 from 7/1 to 10/3; $120 from 10/1 to ride day
Registration for all three routes includes VBR Gran Fondo cycling socks, a post-ride meal, fully-stocked aid stations, chip timed sections for each route, and a sweet finisher's award.
Make it a weekend:
Try out Botetourt's world-class disc golf course, just minutes away from the start/finish. This is also a great activity for your friends or family who aren't riding the Gran Fondo.
About the Gran Fondo National Series:
A Gran Fondo is a cycling challenge that takes cycling to the next level. Part personal challenge, part serious competition, the Gran Fondo National Series courses lead riders through country roads with challenging climbs and incredible scenery. Courses are offered in lengths of ~30, ~60, and ~100 miles so participants can take part in a distance that matches their goals and ability. Each rider is assigned an electronic timing-chip to keep track of their progress throughout the course and to allow riders to compete for best time through highlighted sections of the course. There is no start to finish time as in traditional racing formats, but rather only timed sections count toward a rider's competition time. This means you can take your time between race sections, stop at the aid stations, and regroup to enjoy the ride with your friend and teammates. At the finish a hot meal and beverage awaits you, as well as finisher medals for the gran route finishers. Whether riding for a cause, a personal goal, or for competition, the Gran Fondo National Series courses are some of the most beautiful courses in the North America.