Details for this Weekend’s January Zwift Fondo

Details for this Weekend’s January Zwift Fondo

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

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

Looking for Zwift fondo event times and signup? 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 January 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

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 January’s kit:

Upcoming Dates

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

  • January 3
  • February 7
  • March 7

Is this a Race?

Yes. Sort of.

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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Alex
Alex
3 months ago

Zwift Fond courses are quite simply boring.

Why did they change from Pretzel / Three Sisters?

Darth Vader
Darth Vader
3 months ago

Why isn’t there a different kit for the different course lengths? What is the incentive for doing any course other than the shortest one?

Matt
Matt
3 months ago

I would still like 1 Jersey with different badges added per completion. Same for Tours.

Nigel Tufnel
Nigel Tufnel
3 months ago

Is there not a NYD century this year?

Paul M
Paul M (@paul-mcneil)
3 months ago

Is it available the entire month or only on the selected day?

Eloy
Eloy
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul M

Only the selected days as mentioned in the article

Paul M
Paul M (@paul-mcneil)
3 months ago
Reply to  Eloy

ok thanks

Richard Kelshaw
Richard Kelshaw
3 months ago

Hi all, just wondering how I can ride the fondo tomorrow (Sun 3rd Jan). Its not showing up in my events and I’m fairly new to zwift so have no idea if I’m even looking in the right place or not. Any help would be great, thanks in advance.

Richard Kelshaw
Richard Kelshaw
3 months ago

Scrap that I’ve just found it.. Haha thanks anyway. 😭

N S
N S
3 months ago

When I cycle the longest distance, will I accomplish the route badges?

Bob
Bob
3 months ago

Hi. Just started riding last week and am at about 15 miles per session. I have to finish the Fondo on the same day, correct? Can I take a break and go back and finish, or should I just get ready for the Fondo in February?

Travis
Travis
3 months ago

I’d it the same route every month? Seems like it if I recall correctly… I guess my question though is why do same route over and over?

Sean
Sean
3 months ago
Reply to  Travis

I think the reason is so you can compare and beat your previous fondo time(s).

B E
B E
3 months ago

New to Zwift, this was my first Fondo. I completed it yesterday (and got an email saying as much)… but I am not sure where to find my kit that I supposedly unlocked. I don’t see it in my garage… am I missing something here? thx

Tom Jeffery
Tom Jeffery
3 months ago

I was really enjoying my first Fondo until… Livekernel 141 fail crashed Zwift on my laptop! About 40 minutes in. This is the third time that this has happened on a big group event. Grrrr!

And yet, somehow everything was fine on this evening’s TdZ event, with 11k riders taking part!

Conor
Conor
3 months ago

Hey Eric it looks like February might have some new routes as you’ve been hoping for!

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