Rules & regulations


  1. Granfondo-style cycling is a personal cycling challenge with timing via electronic chip for non-professional and recreational cyclists. The event is open to everyone but promotes amateur, or non-professional, cycling. This means that professional cyclists,  or former professionals who have retired from pro cycling less than one year before the date of a granfondo event, can only ride the granfondo 'out of competition', i.e. they will not feature in the result list nor receive any prizes. These cyclists are also expected not to influence the outcome of the competition and restrict themselves to defensive riding

  2. Definition of a ‘professional cyclist’: People who are currently professional cyclists will not be part of the race competition, should there be prizes in a granfondo event. A professional cyclist is a person whose name features on the official team list of a UCI licensed World Tour, Pro Continental or Continental Team, or an ELITE MTB team or UCI MTB team. The team rosters and names of riders are available on the website of the UCI, the International Cycling Federation. There can therefore be no discussion. Note that top amateur riders who are hired as occasional guestriders for any of the aforementioned team categories are not considered professionals and can therefore compete in granfondo event. 

  3. Participants are personally responsible to ensure their bicyle, gear and other equipment are fit for the task. Participants are free to choose their type of bicycle, but a road race bike is heavily recommended. Please take the cut-off times into account when choosing another type of bicycle. 

  4. Wearing a helmet is mandatory for each participant. No helmet, no start!

  5. Triathlon handlebars are NOT allowed for safety reasons, except in the case of an individual time trial and only when the local event regulations permit the use of this equipment. 

  6. In line with developments in the road cycling industry, disc brakes are as of now allowed

  7. Only natural leg muscle power is allowed. Any kind of electronic, battery-charged or other mechanical aids on any part of the bicycle is forbidden. People caught cheating against this rule may be banned for life from Nordic Ways events. The Organisation Committee (OC) reserves the right to check bikes before the start. Footpeg, locks, etc. shall all be removed before the start of the event.

  8. In addition to ‘mechanical doping’, any rider caught possessing or taking drugs banned by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) will be disqualified from the event and potentially banned for life from Nordic Ways events. If you must take a banned product for medical reasons, please let the race director know in advance of the event providing a TUE or other proof that clearly states you must use the product during the event on medical grounds. 

  9. There will be a minimum speed requirement and thus time limits for the long distance courses. These limits should not be a problem for road bikers, but will be challenging for people riding MTBs, city bikes or folding bikes. Please be aware because we must stop you at designated checkpoints if you are slower than the announced time limit for the day

  10. Except official event and media cars, no cars are allowed to follow the participants during the granfondo for security reasons.

  11. Hydration: Each participant must carry with him at least 1 500ml bottle of water or energy drink

  12. Participants must obey all orders and indications of the race director and/or his assistant, and any official volunteers along the race courses.

  13. Fair play is the order of the day: riders who are seen conducting unsporting behaviour towards others will get a time penalty and/or will be disqualified from the event by the OC. This includes pushing or pulling slower people uphill. 

  14. Even though the granfondo course is expected to be kept traffic free by local authorities, expect the unexpected, watch out for any potential cattle and follow standard traffic regulations by keeping to the right side of the road and stopping for red traffic lights.

  15. Participants must follow the course as marked by the Organising Committee (OC). Course marking always overrules GPS maps as on any day, emergency route modifications may occur. 

  16. Intermediate checkpoints with electronic time measurements are put at random places along the course and must be passed by each rider. No passage at a checkpoint or any other kind of shortcutting will result in disqualification from the day's competition. Participants going off the official course will be self-responsible for any risk or injury occurring during this time.

  17. Every granfondo stage will have separate starting blocks that must be adhered to. Participants who start in the wrong block will receive a time penalty of fifteen (15) minutes. The start block order is decided per Granfondo China event specifically

  18. Nordic Ways and/or the local organization committee is authorized to shorten race distances or cancel the event due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances that jeopardize the security of the event or its participants.

  19. Each participant must read through the full specific event regulations and guidelines. By starting a race, the participant acknowledges and accepts the event regulations.  

  20. If anything is unclear, please address your question to a Nordic Ways staff or to



  1. Altitude sickness and sunburn. In Yunnan riders will climb to very high altitudes. People should take protect themselves from sunburn, as well as refrain from heroism should any respiratory difficulties or headaches occur.

  2. In Yunnan, there will be a general classification based on the accumulated times of each rider in the prologue and the five long distance stages.

    • Winner of the classification and the Colourful Yunnan Granfondo Cycling Tour is the rider who needed the least amount of time to cover all stages.

    • After each stage, the leader in the general classification (men/women) will be required to wear the yellow leader's jersey that will be handed to him/her during the podium ceremonies.

  3. In addition to the general classification, there will also be age group rankings and ceremonies for the long distance riders in the +40 , +50 and +60 age groups.

  4. At the 2019 Yunnan Granfondo Festival there will also be team classification for long distance only. The team competition will result in a daily and a general team classification based on time. Teams must consist of minimum five riders, regardless of gender, and cannot be changed after the start of the prologue TT in Mangshi.

    • In order to obtain a ranking in the daily and general team classification, minimum 3 riders of the team must reach the finish within the time limit of each stage. The finishing times of the three fastest riders of each team are added up to produce the team's finishing time.

    • After each stage of the Yunnan Granfondo, the best team will be called to the podium ceremony to receive a prize. After the final stage in Lijiang, the best three teams in the general team classification will similarly be called to the final podium ceremony.

  5. For the Mangshi TT (It's Dehong Time!), triathlon handlebars and special TT bikes are NOT allowed (nor needed given the specifics of the TT race course).

  6. Every granfondo stage will have separate starting blocks that must be adhered to. Participants who start in the wrong block will receive a time penalty of fifteen (15) minutes. The start block order is:

  • A: Top 50 of the General Classification long distance male & Top 25 of the General Classification long distance female and/or invited star riders

  • B: All other long distance riders

  • C: Short distance road bike

  • D: Short distance MTB and other bike types

  1. Certificates of merit: in 2019 there will be three different levels of certificates: GOLD - SILVER - BRONZE

    • Gold Certificate: for those riders who have successfully completed all six long distance stages within the cut-off times

    • Silver Certificate: for those riders who have successfully completed five of the six long distance stages within the cut-off times

    • Bronze Certificate: for those riders who have successfully completed four of the six long distance stages within the cut-off times