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Arad Dead Sea Gran Fondo


International Bicycle Race

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On March 2-4, 2017 the International Arad Dead Sea Gran Fondo will be held at the Dead Sea, Israel's premier road cycling event. The Gran Fondo (Italian for "the big race”) is a challenging cycling event that takes place at the lowest point on earth.  The ideal weather conditions of Israel’s mild winter and the spectacular desert scenery will maximize the experience of road riding in this unique area. The Dead Sea is located in the eastern part of Israel and its shores are more than 400 meters (1,300 ft) below sea level.

The goal of the Gran Fondo is to fill the gap between team cycling challenges and professional cycling competitions. This tradition began in Italy in the 70's and evolved mainly in Europe and North America. Gran Fondo events organized by the "Gran Fondo Israel" team have been held in Israel since 2012. In recent years, the Dead Sea Gran Fondo joined forces with the Tour of Arad organized by the Israel Cycling Federation to create the best road cycling event in Israel. The event is called "the International Arad Dead Sea Gran Fondo".

The event offers a challenge for cyclists of all levels and abilities. It includes:

- An international 3-day stage race for elite men teams on March 2-4, 2017 (Thu-Sat).

- A 3-days stage race for age-group riders (masters) on March 2-4, 2017 (Thu-Sat).

- The International Arad Dead Sea Gran Fondo (155 km) on Saturday March 5, 2016

On March 2-4, 2017 the 11th International Tour of Arad will take place in the Arad and Dead Sea area. Elite teams from Israel and abroad will compete for 3 days which will include 4 stages: one on Thursday, two on Friday and one on Saturday. Age group riders (masters) will race the same courses; both stages on day 2 will be modified and shortened for age groups.

On March 4, 2017 the International Arad Dead Sea Gran Fondo will take place. The Gran Fondo will once again take riders through the traditional circuit beginning and ending at the Ein Bokek Dead Sea Hotels Resort. The 155-km-long circuit includes 1,873 meters of vertical climbing. The route passes through the beautiful scenery of the Dead Sea valley. The timed part of the route begins at the Ein Bokek Dead Sea Hotels Resort, continues through the Arava Junction and the famous and grueling Scorpions Pass climb, and finishes at Hatrurim Junction after 125 km. The traditional closing ceremony and happening will take place at the Ein Bokek Dead Sea Hotels Resort.

Authentic Gran Fondos are run like professional road races with closed roads, lead cars, judges, and technical and medical assistance along the route. Riders are racing according to their Age / Gender Classification. Feed stations along the route take the place of back up cars and while the top riders choose not to stop unless essential, most other riders take full advantage of feed stops to have a rest and refuel along the way. Gran Fondos give riders of all ages and both genders the possibility to experience what it is like to ride like a professional and sample the authentic atmosphere and infrastructure like you would get in an international race, on the most beautiful and challenging courses.

In previous years, the event has drawn rider participation from all over the world to enjoy this unique sporting event at the Dead Sea.  Gran Fondo Dead Sea is organized by Gran Fondo Israel with the support of Tamar Regional Council, Arad Municipality, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Israeli Cycling Association and commercial companies.

For more information:

For additional photographs:

Here is the promotional film for 2017 showing the spectacular interviews, the cycle route and interviews with participants:

Photos credits: Tomer Feder, Ronen Topelberg,


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