Bend native and Tour de France star Chris Horner has teamed up with Visit Bend on a new charity bike event to be held in August this year. The event, which will be hosted by Horner and organized in part by Visit Bend, the city’s tourism bureau, is dubbed the Cascade Gran Fondo, and modeled on similar mass participation rides that are popular in Italy.
The event is scheduled for Aug. 18-20 and is expected to draw around 1,00o participants. Money contributed by sponsors and raised by riders goes toward the Mt Bachelor Ski Education Foundation, Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign and the World Bike Relief fund.
Thanks in large part to the recruitment efforts of Visit Bend, the community has played host to several high profile cycling events in the past few years including the recently concluded CycloCross Nationals and U.S.A. Cycling Road National Championships.
The inaugural Cascade Gran Fondo ride begins with a Q and A session on Thurs Aug. 18 with Horner and continues with a VIP banquet for riders and sponsors on Friday, culminating with the ride, which Horner says is one of his favorite local circuits, on Saturday.
One of the top American cyclists, Horner is a member of the Radio Shack race team. He is coming off one of his best years, including a Top 10 finish in last year’s Tour De France.