As most of you may have noticed quite a few manufacturers propose "Gran Fondo" frames. In a nutshell these are generally frames or complete bikes which are destined to be sold to those who'd like to endeavour in long rides: Centuries or more.
Not purely race oriented and not really tourist either but something inbetween. A bike that you ride for miles and miles more for fun than for mere racing, right?
Gran Fondos *are* timed. They are like mass group races for tourists. Normally they will time the climbs on a course rather than the whole thing, so you can cruise and recover and have fun in between "race" sections. The winner is the one with the lowest total time in the measured parts. I've never done one, but it is an interesting concept.
But... beats me what the marketing angle of a "Gran Fondo" frame is. Just capitalizing on the popularity, most likely. You know... you need 37 different types of road bicycle so everyone can express their unique individuality.