• Big Rick Stuart

Pandemic forces cancellation of Levi’s GranFondo cycling event until 2022

Uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic has caused the cancellation of the 2021 edition of Levi’s GranFondo, one of the country’s most popular mass participation cycling events.

The ride will return in the spring of 2022, its founder, ex-pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer said Friday.

The 12-year-old event, which has drawn upward of 5,000 participants in the past, already had undergone notable changes going into this year. Instead of starting and finishing in Santa Rosa, cyclists were to stage at the Town Green in Windsor. Long a fixture on the fall calendar for cycling buffs, the GranFondo was switched this year to late May, a concession to the wildfires that have plagued Sonoma County in recent years.

“Most of our events require more than six months of clear runway” to plan, said Carlos Perez, founder of Bike Monkey, the management company that runs the GranFondo, in a Friday email announcing the scratch. “We presently have fewer than four months of murky swamp separating us” from his company’s flagship event.

“I would hope everyone understands,” said Leipheimer, who divides his time between Sonoma County and the Lake Tahoe area. “If it were up to us, we’d have an event. But it’s just not safe. It’s not possible.”

Bike Monkey also postponed until 2022 three other events it puts on, including the Truckee Dirt Fondo, a Tahoe mass-start ride that had attracted a wide following in recent years. Perez asked those registered for his company’s events to accept event credit, rather than request a refund, acknowledging that “if we refund everyone their entry fees, we’ll go under.”

stock Wix photo

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