NEW TT option on Saturday includes a TT ramp start with a 12.5 mile time section on a 27 mile route.
HC Route added for 2018: includes Neutral support, Mobile feed zones, Priority Start wave, and Pro-Cyclist lead-out. HC riders will do a 17mile “hot-lap” and be paced into time section #1, See HC Map. Must be registered in HC catagory to compete for over-all placement. HC and Gran Route riders will be group together for age-group placement, this placement is applied to Series points. HC start time is 7:15AM, all other categories start ~8AM.
4 Loops to Choose From: 103 mile, 86 miles, 64 mile, 25 mile
Event Open to All
4 Timed Sections in the 103 and 86 mile routes – Best Combined Time over the four segments wins.
Age Group Categories
Awards and Winners jerseys for Gran Route
Awards and Prizes for 64 mile and 25 mile winners
This is a 2018 Gran Fondo National Series event
- Ride with your friends, Race with your friends
- Fully Stocked Aid Stations to keep you going
- 10,000 feet of climbing in the 100 mile route
Come Challenge Yourself
Georgia’s Bavarian Alpine village is nestled in the heart of the north Georgia mountains. Helen was a highlight during the Tour of Georgia pro race and now GFNCS is excited to partner with Helen to bring our riders to this premier mountain town! Helen is nestled in an amazing riding location, has great accommodations, and offers many family friendly experiences. Helen has more than 200 specialty shops. Unicoi State Park offers unique accommodations and has many nature trails and lake activities.
TT1 fights for the right to live through a global mission of education, empowerment and equal access to medicine for everyone affected by diabetes. The Global Ambassador Scholarship Program makes heroes out of today’s college students with diabetes. This scholarship-based program recognizes athletes with type 1 diabetes who are using sport as a platform to educate, empower, and inspire those around them with diabetes via community outreach. The awarded funds offset the financial burden diabetes care places on families. Our Sustainable Diabetes Program saves lives in third-world countries by providing glucose meters, test strips and diabetes management education to thousands who would otherwise suffer debilitating complications and early death.
Packet Pick up / Check-in
Pick up on Saturday to avoid the morning rush!
Saturday 5/5/18 From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545 (Start and Findsh for Sautrday TT). All TT riders must check-in, pick up packets, and start before 4PM!
Sunday 5/6/18 From 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM 807 Edelweiss Strasse Helen, GA 30545 (Race Start/Finish).
2018 Course Description:
Nestled in the Bavarian Alpine village of Helen, GA the ride starts in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains. After rolling out of Helen the route hits the first timed segment at mile 2.5, where any riders with intentions of an overall podium finish will need to put their cards on the table from the start. The first time section immediately enters the mountainous area made famous by the 2003-2008 Tour de Georgia. In 2008, Unicoi Gap was the second to last climb on the approach to the race-deciding ascent up Brasstown Bald where Kanstantin Suitsou got the jump on Trent Lowe and Levi Leipheimer to win the event. As riders tackle this timed section they cover over 7 miles and climb 1500ft to the top of Unicoi Gap. The climb is very gradual for several miles, before turning into a real alpine ascent. Enjoy the vistas of the Chattahoochee National Forest on the descent before turning left and climbing up and over Jack’s Gap.
A left turn on Richard Russell Scenic Hwy will put riders face to face with the 2nd timed section, Hogpen gap. Within 6.5 miles and another 1500ft, riders will reach the highest point on the course at 3469ft with ramps of 12%. The views at the top of the surrounding peaks are breathtaking. Check your speed and be careful on the descent as there are many sharp turns. Enjoy the ride through the forest knowing that the hardest riding is behind you.
After tackling the two biggest climbs of the day riders will head east from Helen through Unicoi State Park. The route then hits the 3rd timed section at mile 46, comprised of rolling terrain for a 4 mile section. Riders then get to enjoy a non-timed section of the route for the next 17 miles as the route explore the area round Lake Burton and Seed Lake. Be sure to save a bit of energy for the final time section, it only last just over 2 miles but at over 80 miles in to the day you’ll need to find some go go power.
The route finishes back into the landmark town of Helen where, in 1969, local business owners collaborated to create what is now called “Bavaria in the Appalachians.” Just outside of Helen on the route is the Nacoochee Indian Mound, the center of the ancient Cherokee town of Gauxule, visited by Desoto in his search for gold. Be sure to plan to stick around for beers, food and music served up at the finish line.
Want more? GFNS has entered into an exciting partnership with Haute Route which produces world’s best multi-day amateur road cycling events. Please check their website at www.hauteroute.org .
GFNS and Haute Route want to inspire you to do more! Expect to see the name Haute Route at all our events, along with unique benefits for all GFNS riders to be announced over the next few months. The first benefit which is available to you immediately is the opportunity to take your GFNS entry and apply it in full toward a Haute Route entry fee. If you ride any GFNS event in 2018, you are entitled to credit the entire entry fee paid toward any 2018 Haute Route three-day or seven-day event. Already signed up for the Haute Route? Then take advantage of a free entry into one 2018 GFNS event of your choice to prepare for the Haute Route.
Event Details: NOTE: details below are carried over from 2017, please check back the week of your event to confirm details.
Please read all notes below
You must return you timing chip or you will be charged $100. Please make sure you return it!
Packet Pick Up: (You must check in yourself and have photo-ID to check in)
Saturday 5/5/18 From 1:0 PM to 4:00 PM Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545 (Start and Finish for Saturday TT). All TT riders must check-in, pick up packets, and start before 3PM!
Sunday 5/6/18 From 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM 807 Edelweiss Strasse Helen, GA 30545 (Race Start/Finish).
We recommend picking up your packet on Saturday to avoid the rush
We recommend Unicoi State Park Lodge
Saturday we will hold the Time Trial, Happy Hour, and a Pre-Race Briefing from Unico Lodge, this is the best location to spend your weekend. Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545
Located downtown Helen, GA. See parking map, Park only in red areas marked “parking” on the map. Parking Map click here
When you arrive please find a designated parking spot. Please park in a proper spot!
Schedule / Timeline:
- Event Check-in & on-site Registration 1:00 PM to 4:00; PM Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545
- Time-Trial Start: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM; Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545
- Riders will be started on a show and go schedule. All TT riders must check-in, pick up packets, and start before 4PM!
- Happy Hour 7:00 PM; Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545
- Time Trial Awards 7:20 PM; Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545
- Race Briefing / Event overview for Sunday Gran Fondo 7:30 PM; Unicoi State Park Lodge 1788 Highway 356 Helen, GA 30545
Sunday 5/6/18 Location 807 Edelweiss Strasse Helen, GA 30545
- 5:30 AM to 7:00 AM Event Check-in & on-site Registration
- 7:00AM - HC Race Briefing
- 7:15AM - HC (103mile) wave Starts
- 7:45AM - Gran, Medio, Piccolo riders meeting (under start arch)
- 8:00AM - Gran, Medio, Piccolo riders Start
- 3:00PM - Piccolo & Medio Route awards
- 4:00PM - HC and Gran Route awards
- Raffle – Directly following final awards
All riders must have timing chips installed on race morning.
You will be issued a timing chip, if you do not return the timing chip you will be charged $100.
Race numbers must be mounted on your back right side and be easily readable.
Maps for 25 mile, 64 mile and 100 mile loops are available for download at the following locations:
- 103 mile HC Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26088555
- 86 Mile Gran Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26087594
- 64 Mile Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18154052
- 25 Mile Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18154018
Premium route navigation on your device: Get the RideWithGPS App and load the route to your smart phone or GPS
Use this RSVP Code to access premium RideWithGPS features and get turn by turn navigation for free: https://ridewithgps.com/events/34183-tour-of-georgia-gran-fondo-2017?rsvp_code=7hgBMYkVMhjY7SV9
There will be 4 aid stations along the 103 and 86 mile route, 3 on the 64mi, and 1 on the 25mi (about every 20-25 miles). Each aid station will be fully stocked with Water, HEED drink mix, Hammer Gel, Endurolytes, Bananas, PB&J Sandwiches, Cookies & Chips and more.
Bathrooms: will be available at all aid stations.
Time Sections: (THE RACE) This is not a start to finish race, your overall time is not calculated
You Must Obey Traffic Laws. This is not a closed course, Think Safety First.
Do not cause an accident!!!
All race sections are free of intersections and you have the right of way. You will not be racing through any intersections, this means you can slow down, stop, and be safe.
As you approach the time sections you must travel through the designated area (in your lane of traffic!) so that your chip can be properly read and recorded. The times for your timed sections will be compiled for your review at the finish. 103 & 86 mile = 4 timed sections; 64 mile = 3 timed sections; 25 mile = 1 timed section. You can view all the details for timed section on the above map links, click the map icons for details.
Time sections are open for specific durations. In order to be timed and eligible for awards you must maintain a progression speed between 22mph and 10mph. NOTE: this is progression speed not average speed, progression speed includes all stopped time.
If you do not maintain an average progression speed greater than 10mph you will be directed to take a shorter route. These cut off spots will happen at the pre-established splits and you will be directed to the shorter route. Please Note: This is a 10mph progression speed not average speed. Progression speed includes all stopped time. No exceptions! Cut off times No exceptions for 100 & 64 mile riders!
Estimated times to start awards – 60 mile & 35 mile 3PM; 86 & 103 mile after 4PM before 5PM.
Must be registered in HC catgory to compete for over-all placement.
HC (103 mile) and Gran Route (86 mile) riders will be group together for age-group placement.
We will try to do awards as early as possible. Please understand, it is not possible to tell who won until everyone is finished… this is the nature of a gran fondo, the first one back is not necessarily the winner. We will have great food and drink, to help you get to the awards. You will not be given any awards until the awards ceremony. If you do place in the top three of your age group, and you cannot/wish-not to wait for the awards ceremony, you can send a self-addressed postage-paid mailing package to us and we will mail you your award. If you are not present at awards you will not receive any prizes, the prize will go to raffle and make someone else happy.
Yes the raffle, we will be holding a raffle directly following the 103 & 86 mile awards, we will have great stuff for the raffle from our sponsors including prizes such as: Litespeed Titanium bike frame, Industry Nine hubset, SeaSucker Vacuum Mount Bike Racks Swiftwick socks, Rudy Project sunglasses, Shimano components, Jittery Joe's Coffee, Tune ups from VeloFix, CrotchGuard, Cane Creek eeBrakes, a free entry to any 2018 Haute Route three-day event, a holiday at Garda Bike Hotel in Italy, as well as other prizes). Yes, it’s worth sticking around for!
Post Ride Food:
You receive a complementary post ride meal with your entry
Thanks to all of our great sponsors: Garda Bike Hotel, Litespeed, Swiftwick, Haute Route, Pactimo, Bicycling Magazine, Hammer Nutrition, SeaSucker Vacuum Mount Bike Racks, Shimano, Industry Nine, Rudy Project, Jittery Joe's Coffee, BikeFlights, HUB Lables, CrotchGuard, VeloFix, Cane Creek, Unicoi State Park, Alpine Helen CVB, and White County Chamber of Commerce.
Start Time: ALL riders must start together at 8:00AM
Riders meeting to take place at 7:45am. Event to start at 8:00am.
Riders meeting to take place at 7:45am on Saturday. Event to start at 8:00am.
Event will start and finish in city park across from 807 Edelweiss Strasse Helen, GA 30545
See map: Google Maps
City park across from 807 Edelweiss Strasse Helen, GA 30545 (Race Start/Finish)
What to bring:
Please check the weather and make sure you have adequate clothing.
From the staff of GFNCS, we would like to thank you once again for your participation. If you have any questions feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell your friends to get registered now to join the fun!
A special thank you to all our sponsors and those who support the