The Sagan Fondo is something of a departure from the classic European “Gran Fondo,” not only geographically speaking, but also with a more welcoming and inclusive vibe from Peter to every marshal on the course. This was a day to enjoy the beautiful Sonoma County scenery and have some laughs with hundreds of old and new friends.
In the words of Peter Sagan “A party on the bike”
As a proud sponsor of the Sagan Fondo, Sportful wanted to share some of our favorite images, a few words about the experience, and why it should be on your bucket list for 2019
Ever the loyal team mate; Maceij Bodnar is on hand to capture the day’s events by Go Pro
Standing on the start line there is a slight chill in the air, it’s November after all, but with a forecasted high of 85 degrees and, with the sun rising, we can already feel the promised warmth of the day.
Peter Sagan is the last rider to roll to the start line and is met with huge applause. A few words from the gracious champion welcoming all to his event, and we’re ready to roll. The low morning light basks the peloton as we take the initial turns out of town and into the surrounding countryside.
The vineyards of Sonoma county offer a beautiful backdrop as we pedal on the roads that run through them. It’s difficult not to smile despite the brisk pace that is set at the front. Thanks Levi Leipheimer!
The miles pass quickly and the initial fast flowing, smooth roads lead to the bumpy and challenging. We begin the first and most challenging climb of the day on Sweetwater Springs Road, and shift into the smallest chainring and easiest gear for the climb. We chat bikes, vineyards and micro breweries. This area has an abundance of all three.
The ever patient. Ever willing Peter Sagan makes 4 cyclist’s day with this photo op
The Fondo had multiple feed stations throughout, an opportunity to refuel with cookies and an assortment of snacks, chat to other riders, and grab a selfie with Sagan.
There was no rush or urgency to depart, and this purposeful and inclusive action made by Peter was clear to see. Riders who had been tailed off by the pace would catch up at the stops and then roll out with the front group; led by the 2 pro’s
Thoughout the event Peter was happy to chat, share the road and headwind with everyone
All smiles. The modest and classy Maceij Bodnar
The closing miles continued to be picturesque with small undulations, and before long we found ourselves rolling back into Windsor. The proximity from countryside to urban ammenities only re-enforcing what an excellent location for cycling this town is.
On finishing we were welcomed with a cold beer courtesy of Lagunitas Brewing Company and an opportunity to share stories from the road with other riders.
This was truly a “Great Day On The Bike”
Peter meet Peter
Sagan Fondo: Dirt, Truckee, California. May 4th
Sagan Fondo: Road, Windsor, California. November (exact date TBC)
For more details please visit: www.saganfondo.com
Photos: Christopher Keiser Video: Sam Smith