Details for this Weekend’s Zwift Fondo Events

Details for this Weekend’s Zwift Fondo Events

Official Zwift fondo events are always a blast, with thousands of riders taking part. Like an outdoor fondo, they feature challenging routes with varying length options. Riders can race the event, or just push to do their best and finish a challenging effort.

The second fondo of Zwift’s 5-month northern hemisphere 20/21 series has just been posted for this weekend!

Looking for Zwift fondo event times? See the list of upcoming fondos in this series

Routes

Zwift Fondo events have three categories (A, B, and C) which are open to all riders. These categories don’t refer to rider strength or speed–they refer to route length.

For December the routes are (click for details):

A: Gran Fondo - 97.2km (60.4 miles), 1148m (3766′)

Animated “Gran Fondo” Route Details (Watopia) Map
Animated map provided by ZwiftHacks

The Gran Fondo is one of three fondo routes Zwift unveiled in January 2019 for its Zwift fondo series. Currently these are event-only routes, meaning they are only available for use in events and cannot be ridden on a freeride or individual workout.

The Gran Fondo is one of three fondo routes Zwift unveiled in January 2019 for its Zwift fondo series. Currently these are event-only routes, meaning they are only available for use in events and cannot be ridden on a freeride or individual workout.

Route Basics

Length: 97.2 km (60.4 miles)
Elevation:
1148 m (3,766‘)
Lead-In: 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
Map: Watopia

Restriction: Event Only

Achievement Badge: none

Banners and Leaderboards

(in order of appearance)
Hilly KOM Reverse
Volcano KOM
Sprint Forward
Hilly KOM Forward
Epic KOM Forward

Strava Strava Segments

Gran Fondo

Route Description

The Gran Fondo is very similar to the Medio Fondo in terms of key climbs and overall elevation, but ~25km (15.5 miles) longer due to some meandering around Watopia proper between the “Road to Ruins” section and the “Mountain Route” ending.

This route is essentially these routes strung together:

B: Medio Fondo - 72.6km (45.1 miles), 981m (3219′)

Animated “Medio Fondo” Route Details (Watopia) Map
Animated map provided by ZwiftHacks

The Medio Fondo is one of three fondo routes Zwift unveiled in January 2019 for its Zwift fondo series. Currently these are event-only routes, meaning they are only available for use in events and cannot be ridden on a freeride or individual workout.

The Medio Fondo is one of three fondo routes Zwift unveiled in January 2019 for its Zwift fondo series. Currently these are event-only routes, meaning they are only available for use in events and cannot be ridden on a freeride or individual workout.

Route Basics

Length: 72.6 km (45.1 miles)
Elevation:
981 m (3,219‘)
Lead-In: 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
Map: Watopia

Restriction: Event Only

Achievement Badge: none

Banners and Leaderboards

(in order of appearance)
Hilly KOM Reverse
Volcano KOM
Sprint Forward
Epic KOM Forward

Strava Strava Segments

Medio Fondo

Route Description

The route initially heads out Ocean Boulevard for a nice, flat warmup. Then it’s over the Hilly KOM reverse, through downtown Watopia, and over to the Volcano for a climb to its magma-studded peak.

Descend the Volcano and head out to the Mayan Jungle for a lap in the reverse (clockwise) direction, then return to downtown Watopia by a circuitous route which includes The Esses and the Volcano Circuit.

Lastly, it’s time to head out Ocean Boulevard once more for the big finish: a climb up the Epic KOM! The route ends at the KOM banner.

C: Bambino Fondo - 52.1km (32.4 miles), 553m (1814′)

Animated “Bambino Fondo” Route Details (Watopia) Map
Animated map provided by ZwiftHacks

The Bambino Fondo is one of three fondo routes Zwift unveiled in January 2019 for its Zwift fondo series. Currently these are event-only routes, meaning they are only available for use in events and cannot be ridden on a freeride or individual workout.

The Bambino Fondo is one of three fondo routes Zwift unveiled in January 2019 for its Zwift fondo series. Currently these are event-only routes, meaning they are only available for use in events and cannot be ridden on a freeride or individual workout.

Route Basics

Length: 52.1 km (32.4 miles)
Elevation:
553 m (1,814‘)
Lead-In: 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
Map: Watopia

Restriction: Event Only

Achievement Badge: none

Strava Strava Segments

Bambino Fondo

Route Description

The Bambino Fondo is essentially these routes strung together:

We begin with a forward lap of the Flat Route, followed by a forward lap of the Hilly Route. Then we take Ocean Boulevard again, hanging a left at the windmills and climbing then descending into the Mayan Jungle.

Once around the jungle loop, then we climb back out, descend to sea level, and hang a left at the Italian Villas fountain to make our way toward the Volcano. Then it’s up to the top of the volcano, with our route ending at the KOM banner.

On a related note, we would really like to see Zwift expand the fondo routes to something that hasn’t been used for all past fondos. Maybe it’s time for an Uber Pretzel fondo option? Or better yet, a brand-new fondo route that includes the newer roads not covered in the three fondo routes? Perhaps the KOMonster

(Even the promo image used for the fondos shows riders in an area of Watopia that has never been used for a fondo event.)

Kit Unlocks

This is a 5-month series, and each month’s fondo has its own unique kit unlock. These kits are exclusive, meaning they will never be available anywhere else in game. A true badge of honor! Here’s a shot of December’s kit:

Upcoming Dates

This monthly series runs through March. Here are the upcoming fondo dates:

  • December 13
  • January 3
  • February 7
  • March 7

Is this a Race?

Yes. But a fondo is a “fun race”, meaning it’s more about the personal challenge of finishing a tough course and doing your best. For some riders, the goal is simply to finish the ride. If that’s you, there’s good news: with so many Zwifters taking part in these events, you’ll always have company regardless of your abilities!

That said, thousands of riders turn out for these popular events, and the front of each category is always filled with superfit riders going all out. If you’re feeling strong and looking for an extended race challenge, find a fondo.

Note: efondo events don’t give out ZwiftPower ranking points, so in that sense, this event is not a race.

Questions or Comments

Share below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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Steven Nelson
Steven Nelson
4 months ago

Thank You Zwift for the Saturday afternoon time slot! Great Job, by the way, Eric on this fun site.

Linda Messinger
Linda Messinger (@lmessinger)
4 months ago

I agree! Would be nice to have different courses instead of the same ones every single time.

bronagh schulties
bronagh schulties
4 months ago

agree new course required

Unknown
Unknown
4 months ago

Maybe one that doesn’t include the jungle? 🙂

Adrian Amos
Adrian Amos (@ahamos)
4 months ago
Reply to  Unknown

or DOES include any of the new roads (literally ANY of them) from the Sand & Sequoias side of the island!

Dan Connelly
4 months ago
Reply to  Unknown

The jungle is faster if you switch to a mountain bike. Of course if you’re following wheels you’ll lose the wheels (unless enough people agree to stop). But I agree the course should be changed — there seems to be growing perception Zwift has been effectively dialing it in during 2020, grabbing profits instead of re-investing in the platform. Maybe something really big is coming we just don’t know about.

Dan Connelly
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Connelly

I tried to organize a bike swap going into the jungle but only two others from our largish group did it. We nevertheless went on to pass the large group on road bikes and after swapping back had a 30 second lead. Our group grew to 6 by catching stragglers from the group ahead but eventually they caught us again. If I’d had more takers that wouldn’t have happened: we held off that group for a long time but eventually our pulls got weaker.

That’s not the jersey we got: it’s an old recycled one. I’m not surprised.

Colin C Ferguson
Colin C Ferguson
4 months ago
Reply to  Unknown

I’ve never ridden a fondo before. Do folks usually switch bikes for the jungle? An MTB might save a minute but two swaps and two accelerations would be at least 30 seconds.

Paul Zucker
Paul Zucker
4 months ago

Hi Eric, as you know from riding with us this past Sunday, BMTR (Bear Mountaineers) has a Fundo (a Fondo but obviously more fun 🙂 every Sunday at 8:10 am EST. As we do have the option of varying the route, we have had the Fundo on many different ones including The Mega and Uber Pretzels and the Four Horsemen. We intend to do the same this winter as well, but are starting off with some that are a little easier, like the Big Foot Hills you were just on. By choosing the route, we also have the choice of… Read more »

Mirco
Mirco
4 months ago

In the question “Is this a race” i think the answer is no, because ZP mark that as ride, so no ranking points assigned of course.

Garth
Garth
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

I would love to see a feature added to zwiftpower to do “fondo scoring” for these events. This would just mean scoring by ride segments rather than overall time, just like many IRL fondos do.

Oliver Radermacher
Oliver Radermacher
4 months ago

A new course would be much appreciated!!!!

Joel
Joel
4 months ago

Another vote for the fondos to use a different course.

Adrian Amos
Adrian Amos (@ahamos)
4 months ago

I swore after the last one I would never ride this route again. Love the fondos, hate hate hate this route. But I guess we’ll see what Sunday’s weather dictates. :/

ENRICO LOMBARDI
ENRICO LOMBARDI
4 months ago


Marco Zwitaly
4 months ago

Eric, december kit should be green according to the image at https://www.zwift.com/events/series/zwift-fondo-series-2020-21?__znl=en-eu
The one in your article maybe will come from January, according to the file name 🙂

Joe Whiteley
Joe Whiteley (@jwhiteley)
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Wasn’t the green one either 🙂

Geert
Geert
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe Whiteley

They do have the green one in the event that is running at the moment. This morning was a shirt with horizontal stripes… The green one looks way more awesome! 🙁

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

Can I do a Fondo as the free ride in a training plan?….

B Green
B Green
4 months ago

glad I’m not the only one who’s a bit disappointed we didn’t get the cool looking kit that was pictured.

J. Lebowski
J. Lebowski
4 months ago

Very bummed that this ride seemed to be plagued with tech issues. I was booted on my first attempt. Then got back on today, fully charged as I thought it might be my fault, and when warming up and reading the chat it looked like many others had been kicked earlier. Then again once it started I was kicked off again. I guess its good to kicked at the start rather than halfway through but it won’t let someone jump back in and as its only available for 24 hours it’s a drag to prepare for your first FONDO and… Read more »

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