Details for March’s Zwift Fondo (with “Ultima” Route!)

Details for March’s Zwift Fondo (with “Ultima” Route!)

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 multiple length options. Riders can race the event, or just push to do their best and finish a challenging effort.

The fifth and final fondo of Zwift’s 5-month northern hemisphere 20/21 series has just been posted for next weekend (March 20-21). Like last month, Zwift has included two welcome changes:

  • An extra-tough “bonus route” option has been added – this month it’s the Mega Pretzel, like last month.
  • Schedule has been expanded to 6 different event times on Saturday plus another 6 on Sunday

Looking for Zwift fondo event times and signup? See the list of events in this series >

Routes

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

March routes (click for details):

E: Mega Pretzel - 110.7 km (68.8 miles), 1642m (5387')

Animated “The Mega Pretzel” Route Details (Watopia) Map
Animated map provided by ZwiftHacks

Watopia’s “Mega Pretzel” was released with Zwift’s February 1, 2018 update as the longest available route for Zwift’s iconic course. At the time of its release it covered every segment of the course except the radio tower climb, and in fact covered nearly all segments in both directions. The Alpe du Zwift climb is notably absent from this route since the Alpe was released after the route was created.

Watopia’s “Mega Pretzel” was released with Zwift’s February 1, 2018 update as the longest available route for Zwift’s iconic course. At the time of its release it covered every segment of the course except the radio tower climb, and in fact covered nearly all segments in both directions. The Alpe du Zwift climb is notably absent from this route since the Alpe was released after the route was created.

Route Basics

Length: 107 km (66.5 miles)
Elevation:
1642 m (5,387‘)
Lead-In: 3.7 km (2.3 miles)
Map: Watopia

Start & Finish

This route is a bit weird. When free riding, you'll start on the Volcano land bridge road. Events start in the downtown start pen. The route ends on the Volcano land bridge road, as you ride through the crumbling concrete arches heading toward the Italian Villas.

Restriction: Level 5+

Achievement Badge: 2140 XP

Banners and Leaderboards

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

Strava Strava Segments

Mega Pretzel

BestBikeSplit Model
Estimate ride time, IF and TSS, plan your power, and more!

Route Description

Route profile by ZwiftHub – the place to plan and track your route achievements!

The Mega Pretzel begins and ends on the land bridge connecting the volcano to the Italian Villas. The segments covered, in order, are:

  • Begin on Volcano land bridge to Italian Village
  • Jungle Circuit reverse
  • Epic KOM reverse
  • Hilly forward
  • Volcano climb
  • Esses forward
  • Ocean Blvd forward
  • Epic KOM forward
  • Jungle Circuit forward
  • Hilly reverse
  • Finish at start location

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.

UPDATE: ZHQ has informed us that the Mega Pretzel will be used for this Fondo, not the Uber. So we’ve updated the list above.

Kit Unlock

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 is March’s kit:

Event Specifics

  • There are 6 events scheduled each day (Saturday and Sunday, March 20 and 21) to accommodate all timezones
  • Double draft is enabled
  • Steering is disabled
  • Each category begins at a different time
  • You will unlock the route badge if you ride the Mega Pretzel event. The other routes are event-only routes and therefore do not have route badges.

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.

Ready to Sign Up?

See Zwift Fondo Series event times and signup >

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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dbenzhuser
dbenzhuser
6 months ago

“We would have liked to see the Uber Pretzel chosen (…)” That paragraph is still in there from the last Fondo. I’ll probably be doing the Bambino again, my first and only completion of the Über Pretzel was over half a year ago, I still don’t feel the need to repeat it 😁

Sherpa Dave
Sherpa Dave (@dashton)
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

I’m glad I’m not the only one that makes mistakes 😂

Peter
Peter (@peter-roberts)
6 months ago
Reply to  dbenzhuser

I’ve signed up for the Uber 😵

Sherpa Dave
Sherpa Dave (@dashton)
6 months ago

Now! Now they do the Uber… I did it with you Eric, and I’ll not do it again. I’ll be on the standard Gran Fondo route this time.

Dan Connelly
6 months ago

Eric, Eric, Eric…. look at what you’ve done! I missed your version (not ready for the 6 am start) but now I have no excuse.

Darryl
Darryl
6 months ago

Zwift lists the “E” route as: NEW! Ultima Fondo ( 107km / 66.5mi) // E Group = The longest route featuring the original Watopia KOM, Volcano KOM and Epic KOM.Which is correct?

Darryl
Darryl
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Awesome. Thank you sir!

Ciprian
Ciprian
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

The email I just got from Zwift keeps mentioning the Mega Pretzel as Ultima Fondo route.

Tom
Tom
6 months ago

Hey Eric – I see that Zwift Companion is showing the Uber Pretzel as the Ultima route, but their reminder email that went round today is saying Mega Pretzel. Any insider views on which one is actually correct? Hoping it’s the Uber as I missed yours and looking forward to smashing up the Alpe!!

Kris
Kris
5 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Does that mean the “You will unlock the route badge if you ride the Über Pretzel event.” part should read Mega Pretzel?

Temps 09
Temps 09 (@quatre24)
5 months ago

Doing the Ulitima route this time. Need the the vertical for the tron and have not done mega preztel route badge before. Did not like the grand route as that flat extra distance instead of just gong into epic climb was mind numbing. The medio route was better. Bambino route would make a good race for ZRL or other events if it was available to so.

Daniel Lipman
Daniel Lipman
5 months ago

Do you get bonus XP for completing each course?

steven schwaeber
steven schwaeber
5 months ago

Curious if there were any results from the 8:30a (American/Dawson time) Fondo on March 20th. I remember staring at the screen for almost 3 hours, so I know I did it. Thank you.

y0l0
y0l0
5 months ago

Did Ultima Fondo (Mega Pretzel).. Why all results of Fondo rides are on zwiftpower, but Ultima not? Disapointed.

C Kalish
C Kalish
5 months ago

Where do we find Stage results for the March 2021 Fondo?

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