(San Francisco, CA – January 20th, 2010) – Professional cyclist and Napa, CA native Lucas Euser has signed on to play a lead role in development of Echelon Gran Fondo Napa, scheduled for May 23rd, 2010. The event is the first in the Echelon Gran Fondo cycling series by PlanetZ, a non-profit organization that benefits cancer research and supports cancer survivors at local and national institutions.
Euser, who grew up in Napa and honed his cycling prowess on the area’s roads, recently signed with Canadian UCI continental team SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy. His intimate familiarity with the Napa community and desire to support cancer research and survivors made him a natural to play a lead role in the development of the Echelon Gran Fondo Napa.
“Like many people, cancer has impacted my life,”said Euser. “My grandfather died of cancer and my stepfather is currently in remission. This is a great opportunity to support LIVESTRONG™, our local treatment centers and those currently battling the disease.”
Queen of the Valley Medical Center, St. Helena Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute are all beneficiaries of the 2010 Echelon Gran Fondo events.
Lucas returned to Napa in 2009 after being hit by a car while on a training ride near Girona, Spain, his European home during his tenure with Garmin Slipstream. Since the accident he has developed an interest in cycling advocacy, with Echelon Gran Fondo Napa providing a platform to help make the Napa Valley a safer venue for cyclists and motorists alike.
“Roads to cyclists are not just for transportation,” added Euser. “Cyclists develop relationships with the terrain and the surrounding community. I’ve trained and raced on cycling’s hallowed grounds – the Alps, the Dolomites, the Pyrenees – but Napa Valley will always remain dear to me, and I want to do my part to help others enjoy it.”
PlanteZ/Echelon, whose 2010 events are planned in Napa, CA and Portland, OR, has created 30, 60, and 100-mile rides to emulate the pageantry of the Tour de France. Since Gran Fondos are Italian and not French, would suggest “…draw on the revelry of Italy’s famed cycling events.”All abilities of riders are welcome, and all participants will encounter a uniquely crafted and festive event. “Our intention first and foremost is to make our events a destination fundraising event that individuals and teams can participate in, and challenge each other pre ride and during. What we’ve layered on top of the experience is guaranteed to surprise and delight our audience,” said Hunter Ziesing, founder of PlanetZ/Echelon.
About PlanetZ: PlanetZ is a non-profit global member organization that promotes human affairs including health, environment, and community, and is greatly committed to the cycling community at large by creating events and fitness challenges that are designed to raise money to local and national cancer focused institutions.