The 2017 Gran Fondo Leavenworth ride has been a source for concern all spring. Knowing we had a substantial winter, the May 21st date could be pushing our luck. It’s such a fine line we walk, a couple weeks too late and it could easily be 100+ degrees up Swakane, a couple weeks too early and, well you know… you could have this!
It would seem the 2017 edition hit it just about perfect though, a little too hot, and a little too much snow. Not that we had any say in either of those conditions, but we feel like it was a pretty special year -climb your way up to snow fields in the morning, then work on your tan lines up Swakane in the sweltering afternoon heat.
The elimination of the Mud Creek climb brought on some initial sorrow, but after 81 miles and 7300′ of climbing (some of that being less than optimal conditions) there wasn’t many wishing for an extra 15 miles and 1500′ climbing.
The story of the day would have to be the hard charging duo of Evan Plews and Russell Stevenson breaking away on the Swakane climb and nearly running away with it, if it weren’t for the ever pro Ron Schmeer and his never say die effort that reeled them in in the final 200 meters for a three way sprint!
We tip out hats to ALL the finisher, some tough guys and gals indeed! See you in Ellensburg!!!