Despas Defends, Owens Wins SLO GranFondo Title

Bernotas & Despas also crowned King & Queen of the Mountain; 3rd edition presented by VisitAvilaBeach.com had riders tour over three timed routes from 25 to 100 miles showcasing the spectacular Central Coast; post-race Festival Italiano of wine, recovery zone, music, food & fun; Hearst Cancer Resource Center and SLO ALPHA beneficiaries

AVILA BEACH, Calif. — (October 30, 2016) — On a cool, overcast Sunday at the 3rd SLO Gran Fondo presented by VisitAvilaBeach.com, Vinny Owens, 35, of Fresno, CA and Jane Despas, 51, of Menlo Park, CA won the coveted pink jerseys in the SLO GranFondo 100 Mile race in 4 hours, 24 minutes, 39 seconds and 4:44:50, respectively. For Despas, an Australian native, impressively three-peated as the women’s champion. The annual cycling event, produced by Race SLO, started and finished at Avila Beach Golf Resort and featured three timed routes ranging from 25 miles to 100 miles along the scenic Central Coast.

“This was my GranFondo debut so it always feels good to win. The course was hard and at times the weather was cool and wet, but I had a great ride today,” said Owens, a Clif Bar Team member, while Depas declared that she’ll be “back again next year” to again defend her title.

In the 100 mile GranFondo, as the fastest rider to the top of Old Creek Highway 46 climb, Kevin Bernotas, 28, from Irvine, CA and Despas were also crowned King & Queen of the Mountain (KOM), clocking 18:22 and 24:02 respectively for the 4.5 mile time trial featuring 1,339 feet of climb, and each earned the coveted polka dot jersey.

“Our third SLO Gran Fondo was an incredible celebration of professional and amateur cycling over the best course offerings on the Central Coast,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO. “The 800 riders, plus family & friends and our event sponsors & vendors, toasted the day with our Festival Italiano featuring great food, wine, beer, music and passionate #EnduranceTownUSA energy!”

The day before the race at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, there was a lively, entertaining sold-out Pro Panel moderated by USA Cycling Chairman Bob Stapleton and featuring author, commentator & former professional Bob “Bobke” Roll and American star Alison Tetrick along with pro riders Ian Moore, Holly Breck, Matt Bigos, Ina Teutenberg and Neil Shirley.

This year’s cycling event had 800 registered riders overall and once again served as a benefit for two San Luis Obispo non-profits the Hearst Cancer Resource Center and ALPHA Foundation.

3rd SLO Gran Fondo presented by VisitAvilaBeach.com

Avila Beach, CA, Sunday, October 30, 2016

SLO GranFondo 100 Mile

MEN

1) Vinny Owens, 35, Fresno, CA, 4:24:39

2) Scott Giles, 45, Monterey, CA, 4:28:03

3) Chris Ott, 46, San Jose, CA, 4:29:05

WOMEN

1) Jane Despas (AUS), 51, Menlo Park, CA, 4:44:50

2) Alison Tetrick, 31, Petaluma, CA, 4:52:08

3) Holly Breck, 24, Santa Ynez, CA, 5:32:47

KOM / QOM

King of the Mountain

1) Kevin Bernotas, 28, Irvine, CA, 18:22

Queen of the Mountain

1) Jane Despas (AUS), 51, Menlo Park, CA, 24:02

MedioFondo 61 Mile

MEN

1) Anthony Reguero, 56, Irvine, CA, 3:12:31

2) Jeff Desroches, 37, Santa Clara, CA, 3:12:31

3) Johann Dekker, 60, Valencia, CA, 3:13:06

WOMEN

1) Lisa Ballantine, 50, Santa Barbara, CA, 3:38:09

2) Molly Alexander, 25, Carlsbad, CA, 3:42:59

3) Michelle Tomin, 62, Pleasanton, CA 3:43:00

PiccoloFondo 25 Mile

MEN

1) Thomas Becker, 58, Santa Margarita, CA, 1:17:55

2) Steve LaPutz, 41, Grover Beach, CA, 1:18:49

3) William Blickle, 54, Sacramento, CA, 1:19:15

WOMEN

1) Barbara Brigidear, 35, Santa Clara, CA, 1:17:52

2) Ashley Quisenberry, 33, Grover Beach, CA, 1:18:49

3) Maria Taylor, 50, Paso Robles, CA, 1:34:22

For event information, go to: www.slogranfondo.com, 2016 results HERE, 2016 SLO Gran Fondo ride photos HERE and register today for the 2017 SLO Gran Fondo HERE.

The Race SLO produced 3rd SLO Gran Fondo presented by VisitAvilaBeach.com, Oct. 29–30 in Avila Beach, Calif., had three timed routes ranging from 25 miles to 100 miles that showcased the beautiful scenic California Central Coast plus a first class recovery area that included a post-event festival featuring a 5-star chef’s hot Italian lunch, recovery zone, wine, beer and music.

Visit RaceSLO.com for upcoming events and to register today.

Established in 2010 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO family of annual events currently includes the SLO Marathon + Half and Family Fitness 5K (Spring), SLO GranFondo (Fall) and SLO Ultra at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall).

The Race SLO Team organizes and produces both fun and competitive running and cycling events that create a positive impact on both our participants and local communities.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!