Napa Valley to host Echelon Gran Fondo

Lucas Euser signs on as ambassador

Lucas Euser is backing the new Echelon Gran Fondo Cycling Series

American road pro Lucas Euser has marked his recovery from a serious cycling accident by becoming the face of the US’s latest mass-start group ride.


Euser, who sustained two broken ribs, a broken finger and a shattered patella when he was hit by a car last May, has come onboard as the spokesperson and bike safety advocate for the new Echelon Gran Fondo Cycling Series.

The first event, the Echelon Gran Fondo, takes place in Napa, California on May 23, followed by a second ride in Portland, Oregon on 26 September. Both will offer a choice of 48, 96 and 160km routes.

“While Gran Fondo derived its origin in Italy and is commonly translated as ‘Big Ride’, the Echelon Gran Fondo Series will actually emulate the Tour de France in spirit and pageantry,” said Rebecca Kotch, media contact at organisers PlanetZ, a non-profit group that promotes human affairs including health, environment and community.

“[For] Lucas Euser these roads were the perfect place to recover from a devastating bike accident while training with his team in Spain last year,” she added. “Today he has come back and not only signed on with a new team (SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy), but has taken on the role as spokesperson and local Napa and bike safety advocate for the newly formed Echelon Gran Fondo Cycling Series events, created to support local and national cancer institutes.”

The Echelon Gran Fondo is the latest of 18 new mass-start events that are scheduled to take place in the US this year – an overwhelming increase compared to the two held last year, the Gran Fondo Colnago San Diego and the King Ridge Granfondo in Santa Rosa, California.


Net proceeds from the series will go to Livestrong, St Helena Hospital’s Martin O’Neil Cancer Center, Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute in Portland.