George Hincapie is another American ex-pro who has started a gran fondo. A former teammate of Lance Armstrong, the Queens, New York, native also admitted last year to doping during his long racing career and retired in 2012, but not before setting the record for most Tour de France starts with 17.
His fondo has not been around long—it’s just in its second year—but what it lacks in history it makes up for in some amazing riding. At 80 miles long with 7,200 feet of climbing, not to mention three King of the Mountain timed climbs, Hincapie’s fondo takes in some of the hardest ascents in the Carolinas, including the Tour stage winner’s all-time favorite, Skyuka Mountain.
Through it all, riders take in the fall colors as Hincapie leads them along the same roads he has ridden thousands of times in preparation for races such as the Paris-Roubaix classic, his favorite race.
The Gran Fondo Hincapie is held in October.