Ascend Armenia: Unveiling a New Chapter in Bikepacking Adventure
Armenia, a country with a vibrant history and breathtaking landscapes, is about to embark on a remarkable journey that will put it on the map as a premier destination for bikepacking enthusiasts. At the heart of this adventure lies Tom Fitzgerald, a 71-year-old ex-Marine, Vietnam veteran, and passionate outdoorsman, who, alongside his Project Director Tatev Avetisyan, a local Armenian business woman, has developed an incredible bikepacking race course that will captivate riders from around the world. Ascend Armenia, an extraordinary race that showcases not only Armenia’s natural beauty but also the indomitable spirit of the Fitzgerald family and Tatev Avetisyan.
Tom Fitzgerald: A Lifetime of Exploration and Love for Cycling:
Tom Fitzgerald’s story is one of resilience, passion, and a deep connection to the world of cycling. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Tom continued to seek adventure, eventually falling in love with the outdoors leading him to support his son Stephen entering the world of competitive mountain bike cycling. Stephen is now 44, a competitive bike packing racer and owner of a custom gravel bike building company, Rodeo Labs. It was this love for adventure and new frontiers that brought him and his wife of 48 years, Dana, to Armenia. Together, they made the life-changing decision to relocate to Yerevan, where they immersed themselves in the culture, history, and landscapes of Armenia. Inspired by their son Stephen, the off-road bike maker, the Fitzgerald family embarked on an extensive exploration of the region, which ultimately led to the creation of the awe-inspiring 1,200-kilometer Ascend Armenia race course.
Ascend Armenia: A Testament to Perseverance and Discovery:
Scheduled for June 25th, Ascend Armenia promises to be an extraordinary adventure for participants from all corners of the globe. The race is a labor of love for the Fitzgerald family, who have poured their hearts into crafting a route that showcases Armenia’s diverse regions, breathtaking landscapes, and hidden gems. With an emphasis on unpaved surfaces and a staggering 26,000 meters of uphill elevation gain, this self-supported race is not for the faint of heart. It will push participants to their limits while immersing them in the rugged beauty of Armenia.
Unveiling Armenia’s Untouched Beauty:
Beyond the physical challenges, Ascend Armenia provides an opportunity to showcase the country’s hidden treasures. From the majestic peaks of the Armenian Highlands to the shimmering waters of Lake Sevan and the ancient monasteries dotting the countryside, participants and spectators alike will witness the rich tapestry of Armenia’s natural and cultural heritage. Ascend Armenia is not just about the race; it’s an invitation to explore a land steeped in history and enchanting landscapes.
Ascend Armenia is more than just a bikepacking race—it’s a testament to the adventurous spirit of Tom Fitzgerald and his family, who have chosen to make Armenia their home and share its wonders with the world. Through their dedication and love for cycling, they aim to transform Armenia into a hub for the growing subculture of bikepacking through personal investment and networking with the rapidly growing adventure sports cultural network in Armenia. As the race unfolds, riders will forge unforgettable memories, challenging themselves physically and mentally while immersing themselves in Armenia’s ancient history and breathtaking landscapes. Ascend Armenia heralds a new chapter in the country’s story, one that celebrates adventure, perseverance, and the enduring bond between humans and their bicycles.