Rapha Cycling Club Summit California

Join us in Sonoma County

The reasons why the Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) picked Sonoma County for its first American Summit are best illustrated by the reaction of CANYON//SRAM’s director and mechanic to Stage 3 of this year’s Women’s Tour of California.

The day’s route traced a path from Santa Rosa to the Pacific, leading the peloton past vineyards, over climbs on narrow lanes, and along the cliffs of the coast, all underneath the warm Californian sun. Ronny Lauke and Jochen Lamade, the aforementioned director and mechanic, took turns admiring the landscape and choosing which house would be their dream home. Every few minutes Ronny would say, “OK, we need to come back when we’re not working.”

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Building on the successes of the first RCC Summit in Tuscany, the Summit California is set to be a long weekend of riding, fine wine, exquisite cuisine, audiences with industry experts, and the camaraderie you’d expected from that many clubmates all in one place.

A great location is nothing without local knowledge, so we’ve turned to Rapha Travel’s California aficionado, Brad Sauber, to put together the weekend’s riding. Tasked with building routes that deserve the descriptors ‘breathtaking’ and ‘unforgettable’, Brad has crafted a selection of rides of varying degrees of difficulty, taking in the best roads in the county.

Riders will pick and choose a route depending on their appetite for riding that day – from day-long epics to gentle spins through wine country. “The rides are designated Moderato, Allegretto, and Allegro, depending on how testing they are. Think of them like the grading of ski runs,” Brad explained.

“I can’t say enough about the riding there – I think some of the most amazing roads in the world are in Northern California. I love the ruggedness of the terrain, the steep climbs, and the rough, potholed roads NorCal is known for. It’s technical riding in a great landscape.”

Post-ride, RCC members will be invited to join talks with leading figures from the worlds of cycling, food, and wine. Aldo Sohm, sommelier of New York’s Le Bernardin, will be the wine expert-in-residence, and chef Biju Thomas will both craft much of the weekend’s menu and be on hand to answer questions on food and performance.

From the cycling world, expert coach Max Testa will lend his 29 years of experience to the Summit. Max’s résumé includes stints with 7-Eleven, Motorola, Mapei, and BMC, and work as both a team physician and coach in 30 Grand Tours, bringing a professional perspective to an already blockbuster weekend of talks and riding.

The RCC Summit California takes place from October 21st to 24th, and spaces are limited. If you are not a member of the RCC, you can find out more here. For a recap of the RCC Summit Tuscany, click here.