This is what you should expect in events described as a fondo. It’s more like a race than a social ride. The intent is for riders to have an opportunity to go as hard as they can, which will always result in the group splitting up.
I had the same thing participating last Sunday morning on KIRCMAIR Sunday breakfast trip. It was suppost to be a 2 hour 2.0 w/kg (D) group ride.
There was no becon or what so ever and a few guys were riding like mad men and pulling over 230 riders in to shreds so we got scattered all over the place.
Yes, a very challenging distance challenge. Looking at the description for the next event in this series, it appears to be described accurately. The pace is advertised as “E” 1-5W/kg. Your experience is precisely what I would expect based on how the ride is set up. In larger fondo events you’ll generally find groups forming at various paces from elite to casual. In smaller fondo events you’re more likely to end up riding alone. Many people enjoy this type of event and do it as a quasi-race.