What type of race do you get when you cross two of the most fashionable disciplines in cycling? A gravel-grinder with timed enduro-style segments, naturally.
This week, the helmet and shoe manufacturer Giro announced a new racing format—dubbed Grinduro—that will debut at an event it's hosting. The race, to be based around the small, northeastern Sierra hamlet of Quincy, will consist of a 60-mile, mixed-terrain loop with more than 8,000 feet of climbing. Riders can ride road, cross, or mountain bikes, though Giro says the ideal set up is probably a disc brake-equipped cross bike with wide, tubeless tires.
As with an enduro race, winners will be determined based on timed segments—four in total—not an overall loop time, meaning that racers will be able to spend most of the day enjoying the terrain and experience with friends.
“Grinduro is all about rewarding the most well-rounded rider,” said Giro Marketing Director Dain Zaffke. “It’s hammering short segments, then regrouping and laughing with friends about the effort. It’s how most of us ride on the weekends, and we feel like modern bike racing needs a format that represents this style.”
After a fondo-style mass start in Quincy, the event will make it’s way along the course for the four timed segments: a non-technical, gravel descent; a five-kilometer asphalt time trial; a one-mile, gravel hill climb; and a twisty, singletrack descent.
Winners will be determined based on their cumulative times. But Zaffke stresses that while the racing will be fast, the weekend is mostly about having a good time in the woods. Registration covers fees to stay at a local campground, where there will be food vendors, live music, art installations, a small hand-made bike show, and an industry expo.
“This event is all I can think and talk about—it's going to be that much fun,” Zaffke says. “We rode the course two weeks ago and it was crazy good. Amazing terrain.”
Registration for Grinduro ($200 for the weekend) opened Wednesday in conjunction with Sea Otter. With only 450 slots available, Giro expects the event to fill fast.