Cycling fans will have the chance to meet and ride alongside famed racers George Hincapie and Tim Johnson at this year’s Clif-Jingle Cross Gravel Grinder and Road Fondo, courses that were designed by Iowa City’s own former professional cyclist and Olympian Jason McCartney.
Hincapie, Johnson, and McCartney will join riders on the 60km gravel grinder and 70km road fondo on Sunday, Sept. 17. An autograph session with all three athletes will follow the rides at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.
Race director John Meehan said the three will turn the gravel grinder and fondo into an all-star event.
“We are very excited to have George and Tim join Jason for this amazing weekend,” he said. “It will be quite a treat for our guests to ride with this group of cycling celebrities.”
Registration for the gravel grinder and fondo is $75 and includes a free admission ticket to the Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup races on Sunday, Sept. 17; a Jingle Cross fondo T-shirt; a Clif water bottle; and World Cup cycling socks. Registration is available online at https://www.bikereg.com/jingle-cross-fondo-gravel.
Hincapie, 44, is one of the most recognized riders in the world, with numerous world championships, national championships, and professional victories to his credit. During his 19-year professional career, he rode in the Tour de France 17 times and won three U.S. National Road Race championships, among numerous other accomplishments.
Johnson, 40, is a professional road and cyclocross cyclist and is one of only three male riders from the U.S. to reach the UCI Cyclocross World Championships podium in the U23 division. He won the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships three times, among many other accomplishments.
In addition to riding with fans on the gravel grinder/fondo, Johnson also will serve as the official color commentator for the World Cup races on Sunday.
“You mean I get to spend an entire weekend watching and commentating on the best riders in the world and spend Sunday morning rolling down quiet Iowa dirt roads with hundreds of fellow bike nerds?” he said. “Where do I sign up?”
Meehan said Hincapie and Johnson will be the perfect complement to Iowa City’s own McCartney, who has designed the gravel and fondo courses the past two years, and is a member of the all-volunteer executive committee that plans and executes the World Cup and Jingle Cross events. McCartney, a former professional road cyclist, was named “North American rider of the year” in 2004 and a two-time Olympian in the road racing event, in 2004 and 2008.
“We’re excited to give cycling fans the opportunity to ride with and talk to some of the greatest athletes in the sport,” Meehan said. “It’s just another aspect that makes our three-day cyclocross festival a really special event.”
Fondo riders receive a free Jingle Cross T-shirt, Clif water bottle, and UCI World cup Socks, free entry to the World Cup, Free entry to the Beers and Gears Celebration, and complimentary showers (bring your own towel).
Register to Ride with George Hincapie, Jason McCartney, and Tim Johnson HERE!