The fourth edition of Levi’s King Ridge Gran Fondo (LGF) took place this past Saturday (Sept 29). LGF originated when Levi and local friends banded together to create a fundraiser bike ride to help his adopted hometown of Santa Rosa raise enough money and awareness to continue to host a stage of the Amgen Tour of California. After a massively successful 2009 edition the LGF quickly grew into arguably one of the best attended and organized, mass start, single day road rides in the US. The field limit has been set at 7500 riders and each edition has since sold out in short order. The 2012 edition continues to feature three distance formats, but now successfully raises dollars for both local and national charities.
Levi Leipheimer invited superstars – and fellow SRAM & Zipp athletes – Leadville 100 winner Rebecca Rusch and London Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong. Both Rusch and Leipheimer were equipped with SRAM’s WiFLi drivetrain.
Rusch was the first female finisher to arrive into Santa Rosa, CA, with a record time of 5:12:50 over the incredibly hilly (7832 ft of climbing) 99 mile course. “That was one of the best road rides I’ve ever done. I stayed seated on every climb and conserved energy,” said Rusch. “If I hadnt had WiFLi I would have cramped, I would have gone too deep way too early. I plan on riding WiFLi all the time, its my everyday road drivetrain set-up.”
SRAM has sponsored the LGF from its inception. SRAM’s Neutral Race Support Team was onsite and offered countless technical assists. For 2012, Zipp also became an official partner.