2015 Vino Fondo Gran Fondo 5/16/15

About The Vino Fondo- Big Shark Bicycle Company and Sugar Creek Winery are bringing the European cycling tradition of the Gran Fondo cycling experience to Missouri's hilliest wine country. A traditional pairing of challenging riding and a tour of some of Missouri's best and oldest vineyards. Experience the same roads and towns visited by the internationally acclaimed Tour of Missouri Professional Cycling Race and challenge yourself to complete one of three formidable routes of the 6th annual Missouri Vino Fondo.

The Vino Fondo is a fully supported, timed ride. Although not a race, all participants will receive two measures of their achievement: overall ride time AND their climbing time over the penultimate beast, the Schleusberg. We are offering three distance options, each tuned to maximize scenery and include as many of the regions challenging "topographic features" as we can find. We're crafty like that.

About Gran Fondo's- Also called Cyclosportif rides, Gran Fondo's are challenging rides that combine the best elements of epic recreational rides, some of the characteristics of a race and the visual experiences of the touring cyclist. The tradition of the Gran Fondo includes climbs and difficult riding conditions which we will going forward refer to as "features." The Gran Fondo experience is a true melting pot for cyclists of all abilities- with one goal, the satisfaction of achievement.


Registration is Open:

Early Bird Sign Up- Register before January 1st and lock in the 2014 Rate! While there is no maximum age limit, participants must be over 13 years of age. There are no refunds- however entry/race bib is transferable. 

Before January 1st, 2015 Individual $85/Tandem $150
January 1st though March 1st, 2015 Individual $100/Tandem $160
March 2nd through May 15th, 2015 Individual $110/Tandem $165
Race Day, May 16th, 2015 Individual $120/Tandem $175

Packet Pick Up:

Friday, May 15th: From 12:00pm until 7:00pm, Big Shark Bicycle Company- LOOP, 6133 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis MO 63112

Race Day: From 6:00 AM until 8:00 AM

Fondo Categories for Each Distance Route:

  • Men: 18 and Under, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65+
  • Women: 18 and Under, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65+

Winners of each category will receive a bottle of wine from the Sugar Creek Winery


The Rides. We have three different routes. All of these will start/finish at the same point and include the majestic Schluesberg.

  • The NEW Mondo Fondo- 104 miles, snaking from Defiance, Missouri through the Missouri River Valley and back. With 5,042 feet of challenging climbing the grapes won't be the only thing whining.
  • The Midi Fondo- 75 miles, 3651 feet of climbing. From Augusta, past Daniel Boone's home, and up and over the historic route of the Missouri State Championship Road Race.
  • The Mini Fondo-42.5 miles, 2,284 feet of climbing. For those looking for a less intense day with a few challenging climbs.

Vino Fondo Ride Guide

Vino Fondo Route Maps

Vino Fondo Ride Results

Vino Fondo Gallery


Returning and New Features For 2015!

Based on feedback from last year's Vino Fondo we have made some changes to improve this year's Gran Fondo.

  • New Route Variations for All Distances. We have removed a higher traffic section on Highway 94 and are using better pavement, quieter roads.
  • Three Distances. 104 miles, 75 Miles, 42 Miles
  • All participants will receive finisher pint glasses.
  • Each Age Group Winner will recieve an Bottle of Missouri Wine from Sugar Creek Winery
  • Vino Fondo Jerseys will be available for purchase.
  • Police support crossing Hwy 94 and Hwy M at Hwy 47.
  • Improved/faster registration procedure.
  • Volunteers at key intersections with secondary marking/wayfinding along the route.
  • All rest stops will be course-side, in shade when possible with bicycle parking rack.
  • Exceptional aid-station, loaded with calories, nutrition and hydration. Century ride will have small sandwiches and electrolyte/salt supplements.
  • New Start/Finish Winery- The Start and Finish will be at Sugar Creek Winery in Defiance, MO.
  • New caterer and improved post ride food.
  • Cold Drinks at each rest stop.
  • Additional food items per rest stop. Email us with special requests!

Training Plan and Camp: We have partnered with the coaches at the Pedal Hard Training Center on a program to get you up and over the Vino Fondo routes. If you are in need of a very effective training block to make up for the long, cold winter- please check out this program. Pedal Hard Vino Fondo Training Program Information

New Vino Fondo Jersey- available pre event if ordered by March 1st (Post Event delivery after March 1st)! Click on the Jersey Style to order. Both Styles available in Men or Women's sizes.



The Beneficiary. A portion of the proceeds from the Vino Fondo will be donated to Pedal the Cause. Pedal the Cause is a St.Louis based Cancer Charity that donates 100% of their fundraising dollars to cancer research and treatments that are based in Missouri. They have raised almost ten million dollars for the cause over the past five years at their signature  Fall  cycling event. Find out more at www.pedalthecause.org

The image below is of Alberto Contador on the Schleusberg doing an earlier version of the Vino Fondo.

A Challenge, Not a Race

What to expect: Gran Fondo's are 'competitive recreational rides' and attract recreational cyclists looking to push themselves as well as racers looking for a great riding experience. The roads will NOT be closed and the ride and route will be open to traffic. All turns will be marked with signs and paint. Each cyclist will be given a cue sheet and maps of each route which are onlined (below). We encourage all participants obey traffic laws as well as be courteous to traffic and residents. Please adhere to the rules of the road and do not take unnecessary risks on descents and turns. 

A Gran Fondo event is chip timed. Every rider will receive two times, total ride time and their time from the base of the Schleusberg to the summit. Riders of all abilities are encouraged to participate and push themselves.

In Europe the Gran Fondo attracts a very broad group of cyclist- professional racers, amateur racers, weekend warriors, new cyclists and cyclo-tourists. The compelling elements of a Gran Fondo are the scenery and challenge alongside terrific athlete support and a memorable route.

Rest Stops: Rest stops will be spaced every 15 to 20 miles. Unlike a charity ride or other recreational rides the frequency of each rest stop is less than in a non-competitive event. Riders are encouraged to carry enough nutrition to manage themselves on route. We will make sure that there are several opportunities to take in enough nutrition to manage the day comfortably.

Rest stops are locates at:

  • Marthasville, Missouri- Riverfront. (out and back, Mondo and Midi)
  • Treloar, Missouri (out and back, Mondo and Midi)
  • Warrenton, Missouri (Mondo only)
  • Femme Osage,Missouri (Mondo, Midi, Mini)

Each athlete will receive:

  • Vino Fondo Bib Number
  • Cue Sheets with turn-by-turn directions and map.
  • Pre-Race Energy Gels, Bars, Mix and Fruit.
  • Vino Fondo Fashion, signature event shirt
  • Pre-event fruit and bars.
  • Rest Stop Support- Gels, Mix, Bars, Fruit, Water, PB and J, Pretzels. Additional food and supplements for Mondo Route.
  • Mechanical Support and Sag Support, Cut Off at 5:00 pm.
  • Chip Timing
  • Catered Post Event Meal.
  • Stragglers: Riders finishing between 5:00pm and 6:00pm will recieve a bagged lunch.
  • Note: We will not guarantee support or food after 6:00pm.
  • Bib Numbers and Registration on Ride Day and Post April 25th may not be provided with Event Shirt. Sign up early.

Chip Timing and Start Order

The ride start will be Mass Start. Each rider will be chip timed. We will record rider times at the start, base of the Schleusberg and Summit of the Schleusberg. Timing chips are embedded in the bib number- do not fold or crumple numbers- otherwise timing chips may be compromised.

Route Description:

The Mondo Fondo 104 miles of some of the most beautiful riding in America, punctuated by some of the biggest and baddest climbs we can find. With over 5,042 feet of climbing and taking in many of the King of the Mountains points featured in the Tour of Missouri Professional Cycling Race, the Mondo Fondo route will be similar in difficulty to a true Tour stage. We recommend showing up prepared, this route is as challenging as it is scenic.Visiting some of the great towns of Marthasville, Treloar, Warrenton and Femme Osage. Multiple pitches as steep as 20%.

The Midi Fondo 75 miles, 3651 feet of climbing, taking in several of the same KOM points as the Mondo route, this route follows the Mondo route to Treloar, Missouri and then finishes back at Sugar Creek Winery after summitting the Schleursberg. The last 30 miles incorporates some of the best paved scenic roadways in Missouri.

The Mini Fondo 42 miles, 2,284 feet of climbing. Unlike many shorter ride options that can dilute the days challenge, this route cuts to the chase and provides each participant with several of the biggest and best climbs in the state! This route takes in the same roads and climbs along the historic Missouri State Road Race course and Tour of Missouri. (With a few more climbs...)

Event Schedule:

November 29th 12:00 am Registration Opens
Sat., May 16th 6:30 am Pre-registration Pick Up Open Sugar Creek Winery
Sat., May 16th 6:30-7:30am Pre Ride Support Open Sugar Creek Winery
Sat., May 16th 8:00 am Rider Staging Defiance, Missouri
Sat., May 16th 8:20 am Pre-Ride Comments/Instructions Defiance, Missouri
Sat., May 16th 8:30 am Start- Vino Fondo Defiance, Missouri
Sat., May 16th 11:00- 5:00 pm Meal and Post Event Defiance, Missouri
Sat., May 16th 5:00 pm Mandatory Sag Cut-Off All routes.
Sat., May 16th 6:00pm Event Close/Rider Support Ends Defiance, Missouri

Parking and Direction:

The Ride Start will be at Sugar Creek Winery. All of the rides will start at the same time- with the riders being staged according to distance and sequence of registration. ALL Parking and Pre-Fondo activities will be held on their campus. Adequate, convenient parking and facilities will be on site. From Highway 70 (from the East or West) take Highway 94 west for 20 miles to Defiance and follow signs to the winery. The winery is just past Defiance, MO on Hwy 94.

Event Photographer Images:

Hotels and Accommodations:

About Missouri Wines:

The Missouri wine industry in the new millennium is thriving. The number of wineries has jumped to over 65 and Missouri wineries are producing diverse, complex and sophisticated wines, wines that easily earn top awards in national and international competitions. The Vino Fondo will ride past and through many of the best wineries in Missouri.

Defiance Missouri Housing and  Events:

The town of Augusta, Missouri is a absolutley beautiful, overlooking the Missiouri River Valley. Be sure to set aside some time to explore the wineries, bed and breakfasts and artisans that call Defiance their home. More information at www.defiancemo.org/

If You Like Gran Fondos... We Also Support the LUPUS Wolfride Gran Fondo. A 56mile and 112mile Gran Fondo set in beautiful Columbia,IL. August, 2nd, 2014. This is a more "gentle" ride profile than the Vino Fondo, but one of our favorite rides of the year. Check them out and add to your ride calendar.