What is the Top End Gran Fondo?
The Gran Fondo is a hugely popular and celebrated tradition in the Italian cycling world. Gran
Fondo, meaning “big endurance”, is a long-distance, timed cycling event
that welcomes competitive, amateur and recreational cyclists of all
The primary focus of a Grand Fondo is participation.
Some cyclists ride for the satisfaction and pride in making it to the finish. Others want to improve on their previous times and to challenge themselves. And while it is not a race, some ride to be first.
Gran Fondos have only recently become part of the Australian cycling scene with the first two events being held in 2011 – the Amy Gillet Gran Fondo in Victoria and the Opperman Gran Fondo in Tasmania.
The 2012 Top End Gran Fondo was the third ever to be held in Australia. In 2013, with Gran Fondos throughout Australia held in Wollongong, the Great Ocean Road, the Gold Coast and Launceston, the Top End event has become an annual event in the Australian cycling calendar, showcasing the unique NT landscape.
Beginning in 2012 with a ride that went from Mandorah to Darwin, there was just the one distance for the first few years. In 2015 a new partnership was born with Pedals NT and Epic Events and Marketing being brought in to help organise the event.
A ‘Half Fondo’ and ‘Mini Fondo’ were added to the overall day.
A new course was also developed, with all events starting and finishing at the Darwin Waterfront.
The Full Fondo heading as far out as a lap of the Territory Wildlife Park.
Now in 2018 some changes are adrift again, with a new ‘Fun Fondo’ being added over 25km and the distances being moved out to 150km for the ‘Full Fondo’ and 75km for the ‘Half Fondo’.