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04-12-2023 | Frank Jansen

L'Ardéchoise serves as European Championship Gran fondo for the next two years

The European Gran Fondo Championship is set to take place in France for the next two years, as reported by the UEC. The prestigious French gran fondo, L'Ardéchoise, will serve as the host venue. This marks the inaugural occasion in history where the European Championship will be held outside of Italy.

Renowned event

L'Ardéchoise is a well-known name in the cycling community. Over the past 30 years, this gran fondo has drawn nearly 15,000 cyclists to Saint-Félicien, situated in the heart of the Ardèche. The upcoming season will introduce three new gravel routes, and whether these routes will include timekeeping or remain "just" sportives is yet to be announced.

Undoubtedly, the organizer is elated about the news. Louis Clozel, President of L'Ardéchoise, expresses his pride:

"We're proud to host such a prestigious event on our roads for the next two years. This recognition underscores our expertise and the significance of our event. It's a well-deserved reward for our dedicated volunteers."

Historical context

The European Championship gran fondo debuted in 2019, organized by the Alé La Merckx GF. However, due to the pandemic, the celebration did not proceed in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, the Gran Fondo Matildica took the stage, followed by Alé La Merckx once again in 2023. Consequently, France will host the championship in 2024 and 2025.

No Qualification required

Becoming a European champion doesn't require the qualification process seen at the UCI World Championships. Merely registering for L'Ardéchoise is sufficient. Participants in the 60-64 age group should take note, as unlike the World Championships where they must ride the medio fondo, at the European Championships, they must tackle the gran fondo to claim the coveted European jersey.

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