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Scotland secures closed road UCI Gran Fondo World Series event with Tour of Ayrshire, 29 & 30 April 2017

by Holly Blades

Masters cyclists in the United Kingdom can now qualify for the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships at the Tour of Ayrshire from Kilmarnock on 29 & 30 April 2017. This new event on the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Series calendar was confirmed at the recent Doha UCI Road World Championships.

The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are being held in Albi, France, between 24 -27 August 2017.  The top 25% of the starters in each age gender classification will receive an invitation from the UCI to participate in Albi. 

The Tour of Ayrshire comprises a closed road time trial, the Tour of Ayrshire Chrono, on Saturday 29 April over a 20km rolling circuit and a closed road Gran Fondo, the Marmotte Écosse, on Sunday 30 April over a challenging 137km route. The Marmotte Écosse is part of the pan European Marmotte series of Gran Fondo events.

The Tour of Ayrshire is being held on fully closed roads and will sit alongside the Tour of Cambridgeshire as the only UGFWS qualifying events in the UK.

There are 500 places available in the Chrono and 5000 places available in the Gran Fondo.  Pre-registrations open on 1 November with an early bird offer of £55 available for the first 1000 places in the Gran Fondo. Chrono places will go on sale in the new year.

The authentic Gran Fondo event caters for all cycling tastes and aspirations ranging from those who want to Race to those who want to challenge themselves and complete the ride.  A key production philosophy of Golazo Cycling is to provide the pro experience for all riders with great atmosphere in and around the start and finish with substantial back up in the right areas out on the route.

Tom Caldwell CEO of organizers Golazo Cycling UK Limited describes an authentic Gran Fondo; "think of it like a big city marathon with a race at the front and a traditional sportive towards the back of the field." 

Roland Summerlin, Race Director for Golazo Cycling events, is responsible for ensuring that the Gran Fondo is safe and that the racing to win each classification is fair. "The key to success is to structure the start such that the riders from each classification and with similar speed aspirations start together thereby avoiding the effect of slower riders impeding the faster riders while settling into the event" says Roland. 

Craig Burn Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling said: "Scottish Cycling is always delighted to see well organised, safe and accessible mass participation events come to Scotland, but to have a UCI sanctioned Gran Fondo coming is particularly exciting. Securing major events such as this in Scotland is fundamental to achieving our inspiration to participation strategy. These mass participation events help us to build strategic partnerships with Scotland's local authorities and other stakeholders to drive our wider cycling ambitions with regards to getting more people riding bikes, be it through local clubs, participation programmes, competition or social cycling."

Angie Bennett of East Ayrshire Council, the authority working with Golazo to produce the Tour of Ayrshire festival is delighted with the prospect of the event. "Having a UCI status mass participation event in Kilmarnock not only confirms the commitment of the authority to cycling and sport, but provides a great opportunity for the riders to enjoy the roads and local area, with so much to do and see along with exceptional food and drink, we're sure they will want to return to East Ayrshire.  We are looking forward to welcoming the Tour of Ayrshire over the bank holiday weekend next year. "

Erwin Vervecken the UCI Coordinator of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series (UGFWS) commented; "the same production values which Golazo Cycling have demonstrated in Cambridgeshire will be deployed in Kilmarnock to ensure Scotland will have a truly world class event."

Tour of Ayrshire - An easy ride around the Marmotte Ecosse from David Street on Vimeo.

Golazo Cycling Limited is expecting over 1000 British cyclists to make the journey to the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in France in 2017.

For more details on the Tour of Ayrshire please visit 

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