The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) welcomed a record number of cyclists for RTC 2012 Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo Pinarello Presented by Vector Media.
In total, the fifth annual cycling event attracted 2,500 riders from all over the US, as well as internationally, from such countries as the UK, Spain and Canada. The ride started on the iconic Las Vegas Strip and then riders embarked on either a 17-mile ride, 75-mile ride, 102-mile century ride or 122-mile Gran Fondo, led by five-time Tour de France champion and two-time Giro d’Italia winner Miguel Indurain.
At the end of a 122-mile trek along the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip to the majestic heights of Red Rock National Conservation Area and cavernous Hoover Dam, Miguel Indurain led a charge to the finish amid a fast approaching peloton of professional cyclists including Carter Jones and Chris Baldwin of the Bissell professional cycling club.
The former five-time Tour de France and two-time Giro d’Italia champion proved his mettle once again as an elite cycling champion at the 5th annual Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) 2012 Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo Pinarello Presented by Vector Media, held on 22 September 2012.
Having retired from professional cycling in 1996, ‘Big Mig’s’ rare appearance proved to be a featured draw as the annual charity ride set a new attendance record of 2,500 cyclists eclipsing last year’s mark by 500.
“I do not often travel outside of Spain, and I rarely ride in events in the United States, but Viva Bike Vegas was one that I just could not miss,” said Indurain, who travelled to Las Vegas from Spain specifically to participate in the Gran Fondo.
“The vistas of Red Rock and the majesty of the Hoover Dam are so impressive. The rides I enjoy most are those whose scenery is so breath-taking that the ride is not only a great athletic challenge but also a once-in-a lifetime memory. Las Vegas is simply a great destination for cycling.”
“I am going to ride Viva Bike Vegas again next year so I lay down the challenge to former and current cycling champions to join me as we conquer this epic desert ride together. It will be fun to create a rivalry and raise awareness for cycling here in Nevada and benefit the charities that need our help,” Indurain continued.
Joining Big Mig next year will be Fausto Pinarello, President of Pinarello cycling, the world-renowned bicycle manufacturer and official sponsor of Viva Bike Vegas. “We envision making Viva Bike Vegas the ultimate one-day cycling experience on the West Coast,” said Pinarello, who also rode in the event this year.
“The course is simply spectacular and provides a challenge for cyclists at all levels. It was wonderful to see a true champion like Miguel test himself against the cyclists of today. We look forward to making next year’s event even more exciting by working with our partners at the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.”
Next year’s cycling event is scheduled for Saturday 21 September 2013.
RTC 2012 Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo Pinarello, which occurred at the conclusion of Interbike, the largest bicycle trade event in North America, started under the bright lights of the iconic Las Vegas Strip. Riders then embarked on a 17-mile ride, 75-mile ride, 102-mile century ride and 122-mile Gran Fondo.
Proceeds from Viva Bike Vegas again benefited three local charities: UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute, After-School All-Stars Las Vegas and Communities in Schools of Nevada.
The RTC is the transit authority, transportation planning agency and regional traffic management agency for Southern Nevada. The RTC’s vision is to provide a safe, convenient and effective regional transportation system that enhances mobility and air quality for citizens and visitors. The RTC encourages residents and visitors to use alternate commute modes to help reduce traffic congestion, clean the air and improve the quality of life in Southern Nevada.