Cycling season arrives with open registration for 2017 Palisade Gran Fondo June 3 | SummitDaily.com

Cycling season arrives with open registration for 2017 Palisade Gran Fondo June 3

Cyclists, the road season is nearly here. It's time to sign up for the first tour of summer.

On June 3, the Colorado National Bank Palisade Gran Fondo offers two classic Western Colorado road rides: the 72-mile Palisade Gran Fondo and the 40-mile Palisade Piccolo Fondo. Starting and ending in Palisade, both rides showcase the orchards, vineyards, mesas and farmlands that make the Grand Valley a uniquely beautiful place to live, visit and ride, according to a release from the event promoters.

All participants receive on-course support with a roving mechanic, well-stocked aid stations and a sag wagon for those who need assistance getting back to the party. Chip timing gives riders instant, accurate results, whether they choose to hammer for a podium finish, crush a personal record or take a more leisurely approach to the day, the release continued. The event is open to cyclists of all ages and costs $70 for the full Gran and $60 for the shorter Piccolo.

"Gran Fondos are a great European tradition taking hold in the states because they give riders of all abilities a chance to challenge themselves on an epic ride that is timed, but not actually structured as a race," event co-founder David Fisher of Palisade Velo said in the release. "The amazing agricultural community and rural roads we have at the east end of the valley make for a perfect Gran Fondo atmosphere".

While top finishers will receive podium glory and custom Pactimo winners' jerseys, all riders share the chance to win awesome giveaways, including a DT SWISS wheelset. The post-ride Party in the park is included in the entry fee and features local food, beer and wine. This event benefits the efforts of Palisade Velo to promote cycling in the Upper Grand Valley.

For more details about this event, including links to course maps and registration, see PalisadeGranFondo.com.