What is a ""real" race" (as you happen to put it) to you? The local crit? The local ITT? A track race? I mean, I also do those but...
Granfondos form part of our race series for the season...the same as the other twenty or so teams who have it as part of their race season. This year our race season (that we will eventually be ranked on as a team, as well as individual results) consists of:
- Gf Città di Padova
GF Segafredo Città di Asolo
GF Internazionale Felice Gimondi Bianchi
Corsa per Haiti
Sportful Dolomiti Race
6XAndrea cronometro a squadre
I race and I do gran fondos...but for me I can't sit up in a granfondo like i've said, because unlike the 99% others doing it it forms part of my final season ranking...once again, it's a race for us and the other 200 or so in the first two blocks. If you think we're all drifting along enjoying the "great food" then the mind boggles; there's squad mates, friends and family up the road with musettes...in fact the majority of these "races" cater to us by having their own volunteers along route on the side of the road arms outstretched with fresh bidons.
Not that doing the Maratona is to be argued with, it's tough, but do you really know what you're on about with one experience of perhaps the most bloated and lethargic Italian granfondo there is? Especially when you say something as offensively denigrating as "yes you can race a GF just like your Sunday club ride" or as clueless as "Some good riders do them for fun or training" - a lot of riders are trying to get noticed by professional teams / make a name for themselves. Or "Yep Even Pros..." - every Pro I've seen ride a GF I've been in has quite rapidly abandoned after being photographed at the start line and first 5km whilst staying well out of the way of the front gruppo... I can't really let it slip despite completely sending the thread off its rails... [/quote]
Sorry I suppose something got „lost in translation“. I did not mean to be offensive, sorry if it came across like that.
What I meant is that of course you can turn anything into a race for sure. You can turn you ride with your friend into a race etc... And therefore you can ride a gran fondo as a race.
But when you are serious about racing you usually move into events which are solely intended to be used as a competition (vs. a gran fondo where many people just want to finish it). By this you usually enter some race series organized by your national association for cycling - which is approved by the UCI. In such races everybody see the events as a competition. In these races you move from category to category when you win some races or when you make some good results. You can not refuse it. And you can not race in a lower category etc... This is a very different system than a gran fondo where some people ride it as a race and some people ride it as an achievement etc... And the spirit is absolutely different. I can remember events where riders disapproves the presence of good racers (not pro) as the difference of level was too big and arguing that these people should race their race and leave the normal riders doing theirs.
My point to the OP is also to point out that the races in Western Europe (including Italy) are very different than in the North America in terms of experience, level and spirit and that if he has the required level he should try these as this is a good experience for him. Otherwise doing gran fondo will also be a good experience also.
I used to race in Western Europe a long time ago (and still have friends doing so) and now living in North America I do see big differences. Both have their pros and cons.
I used to race (Cat. Elite) and I used to do also gran fondo in Europe. So that‘s not the problem. But I never saw the gran fondos like a race. Sorry.
Cool down mate.
At the end do whatever you like and enjoy it.
(Feel free to PM me if you wish)