Always dreamed of being that person who gets to experience something totally unique? In collaboration with iconic brands that are the very definition of exclusivity, we crafted our vision of modern luxury into reality for one lucky GRAN FONDO reader.

The contemporary understanding of luxury isn’t the same as it once was. Today’s version is less about ownership, and more about experiencing. For the inaugural GRAN FONDO PRESTIGE we added a unique touch to the concept of luxury to unite the best of both. Throughout April to June 2018, readers were invited to apply for the very first GRAN FONDO PRESTIGE and its mind-blowing prize pot. The chance to not only take home a limited edition Cervélo R5 kitted out with SRAM Red eTap and Zipp carbon wheels, but also an exclusive Breitling Superocean Héritage II 42 watch and custom kit courtesy of Isadore Apparel.

Then came the experience part of the prize: the winner and their chosen plus-one would spend a weekend at the famous five star superior Gstaad Palace Hotel alongside the GRAN FONDO team. The quiet Alpine roads surrounding this ultra-luxe hotel would provide the perfect routes for riding the new bike, naturally with a luxurious Bentley Bentayga serving the role of support car. Of course, the car keys would be handed over to the winner for the remainder of the weekend – an Alpine spin strongly advised!

But who most deserves a weekend like this?

The quality and diversity on display from over 600 entries was overwhelming: from Australian airline pilots and Californian hedge fund investors, right through to new parents, strong business women and global travellers, the entrants ran the gamut of our readership. Some entries described memoirs of tragic circumstances, pressing life decisions or, quite simply, an entertaining reason about why they should win.

But why me?” wondered the eventual winner during the course of the PRESTIGE weekend, revealing a lot about the sense of self-worth of many applicants: “It’s only when I’ve worked hard that I know I’ve earned a reward.” “Something bad happened to me, which is why I deserve to win.” At the end of such a phrase, the question arises: why should there be an individual that is more justified to deserve a certain thing? Is it because they’re better looking? Have you achieved more success in their career? Did something tragic befall them? Because they want to donate the prize to their better half? Instead of ‘why me?’, why not try asking ‘why not me?’

Many of us have a talent when it comes to finding excuses not to do certain things, hoping to avoid the risk of failing. Perhaps it’s a subconscious thought, but many of us often feel like we don’t deserve certain things, and pitch ourselves as unworthy.

“99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground. The level of competition is thus fiercest for “realistic” goals,” explains the New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferris: “Doing the unrealistic is easier than doing the realistic.“

Beyond just being a game-changing event, the very first GRAN FONDO PRESTIGE aims to serve a slice of inspiration so that you’ll follow your dreams and not hold back from attempting to realise whatever it is that keeps you up at night with excitement. When bravery meets good fortune; the unrealistic becomes real. That’s exactly what happened in this case, when chance decided who would win, a potluck draw that is the fairest and most simple way, meaning that each individual entry had just as much chance as the next. Bravery to enter meets the fortune of winning the draw.

Let us introduce a certain Jean-Christophe Theard, the winner of the first GRAN FONDO PRESTIGE. Originally from Brittany, he now lives in Dusseldorf, working for a Fortune 500 company as a technical director.

Don’t miss the second page with all the impressions of the first GRAN FONDO PRESTIGE!