The Hood River Echelon Gran Fondo has added a high-profile front man for the Sept. 24 mass ride.
Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has signed up to be part of the ride. Participants in the ride will have the opportunity to ride out of downtown Hood River with LeMond and then try to keep pace with him through the first several miles.
"I am really looking forward to coming to Hood River for the first time," LeMond said in a press release. "I have heard Hood River area has some of the nicest riding in the Northwest."
LeMond will be participating to help benefit his charity, "1in6," which helps child abuse victims.
The ride will also benefit OHSU Knight Cancer Research Center.
The ride, which attracted hundreds last year, will begin in front of Full Sail Brewery and take riders east along the historic Columbia River Highway with 30-, 80- and 100-mile ride options.
There is also a dirt course which begins near Mosier, but all riders, regardless of classification, will ride together up to that point.
Riders and the public will have a chance to meet LeMond following the ride back in downtown Hood River.
A cycling and fitness-related expo will be from 3-6 p.m. and will include food, beer and music by the Resolectrics. Members of the public not participating in the ride can purchase wrist bands to receive food and drink and the festival.
To sign up for the ride visit http://bit.ly/HoodReg.