Palisade Gran Fondo has a 7:00am Mass Start. Piccolo Fondo has an 8:00am Mass Start. Riders must start with the roll out to receive a time and to adhere to our permits and insurance. We depend on your cooperation.
DO NOT roll out with us if you are not a registered rider or if you are not wearing a helmet (yes, this really is a very big deal and probably shouldn’t have to be said)
Palisade Police Department escort will lead a neutralized 4-mile warm-up spin east, then back west along the Colorado River before you are cut loose to attack the 38 Road hill. The group will certainly come apart here. All riders will traverse Palisade’s orchards and vineyards all of the way to Whitewater at their own best pace.
Piccolo riders will turn around at the aide station in Whitewater and retrace their route, attacking each of the punchy rollers of the Palisade Fruit and Wine Byway in the opposite direction. They will travel at their own pace- pushing it for the finish line or taking in the views of the late spring orchards and vineyards, Grand Mesa and Bookcliffs as they choose.
Palisade Gran Fondo riders will continue on from the Whitewater aide station, to be faced with the barren switchbacks of the Col d’Reeder Mesa, followed by a long grind skirting the shoulder of the Grand Mesa to the top of Purdy Mesa at 6100 feet. Here is their next fully stocked aide station. They turn nearly 90 degrees, heading downhill for a super fast descent along Kannah Creek, just to turn again and climb back up steady incline of Land’s End Road to retake the saddle of Reeder Mesa. All of this suffering is then rewarded with the technically challenging descent of the Col d’Reeder Mesa switchbacks.
- Review the maps for details regarding cattle guards on Reeder and Purdy Mesa. There are several and they tend to have center gaps that must be avoided.
- Our crews will be sweeping where they can and will pay particular attention to the switchbacks- but proceed with extreme caution!
- As we move closer to event day we will provide updates on road conditions- but expect anything and everything once you leave Whitewater
Returning to the aide station at Whitewater, Gran Fondo riders then retrace their route attacking the punchy rollers of the Palisade Fruit and Byway in the opposite direction until they return to the Peachbowl Park.
Total climbing of the Palisade Gran Fondo course is about 3,500 feet- but do not be deceived, the long false flats and punchy pip ups on this course present a worthy challenge to any climber and will keep you on your game right up until you return to the 38Rd Hill