Several cyclists climb Blodgett Dr. in the 2020 719 Ride

An Essay by The Course That Cannot Be Defeated

Every Course Constructed

is imbued with a purpose by its creator. My purpose is to elevate my riders. To take them where they want to go.

I achieve my purpose by being relentless and unwavering, and I am good at what I do.

I am untiring. I do not succumb. I am never-ending and never defeated, for I am always ready for another lap.

As I was in the past, I am now and ever shall be; I am a route without end.

A man once said that nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, or difficulty.

He was a bear of a man, a rough rider of sorts. He was not unlike the men and women who rode wheeled steeds upon me, on the 19th of July in the year of the virus.

One hundred and ninety-three volunteered to fight me that year. 2020 it was numbered.

They were of mix of humanity, on a mix of conveyances. Each with his or her own reason to ride.

Two cyclists climbing a road

They looked upon me as a challenge. They called me brutal and humbling. A beautiful sufferfest. And I welcomed them.

It was a wonderful day. Cooler than years past, and more equal because of it.

Legs and mind against grade and distance. Them against me. ­Under the sun, but not warped by its rays.

They brought their FORZA and their endurance. And despite their fatigue, their pistons of muscle and sinew kept turning the pedals.

Watts and torque moved grams and stone. Each revolution both grievous and rewarding. A rictus of satisfaction upon many a face. Legs driven to continue by pride, determination, hope and desire.

That man I spoke of, the rough rider, he said another thing of relevance to me.

He lavished credit and praise upon the combatants who take to the arena, who mar their faces with dust and sweat and blood; who strive valiantly, daring greatly.

A man in an IRONMAN cycling jersey hangs his head in exhaustion while resting his arm on his bike sadsle

This is right and just.

But without the arena, those who dream to dare, cannot. The arena lavishes the credit upon the combatants.

Without me, July 19, 2020, would’ve been an altogether different day.

I felt that mix of humanity — athletes all — gliding over me. I tasted their salt. I listened to their exertions. And I smiled, as I witnessed them ascend.

Each rider took the best I had and turned it into accomplishment and achievement.

Three thousand. Six thousand. Nine thousand feet. I lifted them all.

Nay! They rose up!

No matter how many times I’ve been ridden, I am a challenge.

I will never give an inch. I will always sow doubt where I can and introduce discomfort freely.

I will dare my riders to be great, for I am as great as all who ride upon me.

To heights both new and familiar.

It was glorious!

Do You Have What it Takes to Go Five Laps With Me?

Let's Find Out! Andiamo! Let's Go!

"As far as I'm concerned, the 719 Ride is the ultimate event around."

Al Marshall, 6x I Cinque Giri finisher (2018-2023)

If you do decide to tackle the course that cannot be defeated

I urge you to be prepared for a fantastic sufferfest and true test of mental toughness. The Cinque Giri experience is absolutely stunning, and I recommend it 719%.

— Ottavio Severo


A man with his cycling jersey zipped open rides his bike uphill

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