Event of the Year: Giro Grinduro


There are brands, personalities, and event promoters that have achieved exceptional accomplishments in 2015 by questioning and challenging the status quo. Here we are talking about forward-thinking concepts for the sport, product design, or marketing that were surprising and inspiring with the potential to revolutionize specific segments of the industry.
You might ask, why set up these Accomplishments of the Year Awards? Well, we want to honor the accomplishments of teams and persons who are ready to revolutionize the known by creating new formats and concepts. These accomplishments simply don’t fit any category. The Award-winners were chosen by the expertise of the participating international journalists and the expert jury.


This year has seen a revolution in road racing. Both the Superenduro B-Road and Grinduro celebrated a successful start, bringing a new attitude and style to skinny-tired racing.
Just like enduro brought together XC racers, freeriders, downhillers, enduro specialists, and normally non-competitive riders a few years ago, the Superenduro B-Road and Grinduro have united racers from across the entire cycling spectrum. While the jury and journalists loved both formats, there could be only one Award winner. While Superenduro B-Road has the potential to be a sustainable and more popular format appealing to many traditional road racers, it’s the Grinduro format which really closes the gap between road and mountain bike racing. Roadies, gravel riders, downhillers, XC racers, enduro riders, and cyclocross racers shared the stoke together at this exciting event held in October 2015 in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Grinduro’s concept was conceived by Joe Parkin and successfully realized by Giro’s Dain Zaffke and his team.


In the beginning, bike choice was as unclear as the expectations from the racers, and that was the beauty of the event – it would be the passion of the riders themselves who would define it. Thanks to a Gran Fondo-style mass start and no overall timing, just four timed stages, friends could ride and race together, and even help each other by team time-trialing in one stage that consisted of six miles of rolling pavement. A race format that encourages people to make new friends and have fun together out on the course… sound good? Then throw in handmade bikes, camping, fires, a wild night of music, beer, and delicious food prepared by Gourmet Century chef Chris Diminno.


One thing‘s for sure: this race format will not only inspire other event promoters around the globe to hold similar events, but will also be the start of new developments and new innovations. Imagine dropper posts for your gravel grinder to enhance downhill capabilities, frames with even more tire clearance, or a 1x setup with an even wider range of gears to endure harsh climbs and downhills.
“Grinduro perfectly blends the best of gravel racing, enduro, and a gran fondo into a format that puts fun and camaraderie in first place,“ says Granfondo Cycling Magazine’s founder, Robin Schmitt. “This exact lifestyle is fresh, fun, and badass, meeting the Zeitgeist of the new generation of cyclists we want to embrace with our new publication, GRAN FONDO – Cycling Magazine.“

Check out all winners and more about the Design & Innovation Award.

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