ROSWELL, Ga. – Ciao, Roswell! Roswell is preparing itself for one of the cycling world’s largest events, the Giro d’Italia’s Gran Fondo. Roswell will be the host city for the southeastern leg of the world tour in October.
The three-week long race takes place in Italy every year. In an effort to promote Italian culture and the feel of the event throughout the world, the race is going on tour with a “Gran Fondo,” a daylong bike ride of more than 100 miles.
At a press conference June 2, Roswell Mayor Jere Wood and his council announced the final approval of Roswell hosting the Gran Fondo Oct. 18 and 19.
“Roswell is proud to be Georgia’s first bike-friendly community,” Wood said. “We are also proud to be hosting the inaugural ride in Georgia.”
Roswell is already known as a bicycle-friendly community, and has several races and events throughout the year. The Roswell Criterium is 14 years old now, and an annual ride takes place down Ga. 400.
“This will get us into the big times,” Wood said. “We are truly going international.”
The ride will feature three routes – of 33, 62 and 105 miles long – each beginning and ending at Roswell. They will go as far north as Jasper.
Matteo Gerevini, the founder and chief executive officer of Gran Fondo Italia, said the global ride annually draws about 20,000 people.
“I have never seen the level of excitement as in Atlanta,” Gerevini said. “This is not a race. We want everybody to get on a bicycle.”