Last weekend, again, great gran fondo races and other events were held throughout Europe. Here are the highlights.
Photo: Team CycloWorld with Herman van Tilburg (527) and Peter Koens (90). Furthermore CycloWorld-followers Joppe Boodt (384) and Joost Fijma (538).
The German town of Bad Dürrheim in the Black Forest was entirely dedicated to the Riderman from Friday to Sunday. Friday was the usual time trial (16 km/191 hm), Saturday the queen stage (121 km/1990 hm) and Sunday the final short stage (100 km/1006 hm). We have written it before, this three-day cycle race belongs to the top of the bill of the multi-day cycles. A perfect organization, three days of completely car-free cycling and the enthusiastic atmosphere are the main ingredients. The participants were lucky, because it was Kaiserwetter every day.
All three stages could be followed via a live stream, including images from a helicopter. Granfondo riding is clearly becoming more and more serious. It is not without reason that more and more ex-professionals are taking part. Swiss Marcel Wyss, a former pro with IAM and others, took the win this weekend.
There is some very hard racing going on here. To give you an idea, our men rode the last stage with an average of over 39 km/h. And that puts them in the top of the rankings. And that puts them in the middle of the pack. "Completely choco" was Herman van Tilburg's reaction. Dutch female gran fondo rider Carla Mellema was also at the start. She has an impressive list of gran fondo achievements in recent years, but told us that hard racing in the Riderman is different than a gran fondo in the high mountains.
Do you want to know how our team and all the other participants did, check here the results.
It is an understatement to say that the Spanish Pyrenees cyclo Quebrantahuesos did not had the best edition in terms of weather. Normally, this event is held at the end of June and can count on brilliant weather. Last Saturday, the rain provided epic images. Nevertheless, the participants enjoyed the event in the beautiful surroundings. Watch the video.
With about 10,000 participants, 4 cols and a car-free course, this is one of the top granfondo's in Europe. The next edition is expected on 18 June 2022. Note: this date is not yet confirmed.
The Ronde van Vlaanderen for amateur cyclists is normally one of the highlights in spring. At the beginning of April, 16,000 fanatics ride the same route as the pros the day after. Mythical hills such as the Paterberg, Koppenberg, Oude Kwaremont and the Berendries await the crowd. Due to corona, this tour was postponed to September, but that did not spoil the fun. Beautiful late summer weather provided unprecedented conditions.
All four distances were busy. The participants on the longest distance started early in Antwerp, the others in Oudenaarden. Let's hope that next year this wonderful cycling festival can be held again in early April.
The Italian island of Sardinia is this week the setting for the 25th edition of the Giro Sardegna. Due to corona, there are mostly Italian participants at the start. The first stage started in the rain, but was released after about 40 kilometres. Damiano Lenzi was the winner uphill. Lenzi is a striking name, because he comes from the cross-country (cross-country skiing).
A large group sprinted for second place. Belgian rider Frederic Glorieux came eighth, one place ahead of his Dutch teammate Matthijs Koedijk. Another notable name: Massimiliano Lelli finished in 3rd place. This ex-professional once finished 3rd in the Giro (1991) and 14th in the Tour (2002). He is the umpteenth cyclist who after his professional career seriously competes in granfondos. In the women's race Barbara Duse won. Local hero Fabio Aru also came to take a look (see photo below).
The next five stages will follow. Check here all results.
Photo: Fabio Cini wins the UCI Gran Fondo Suisse.
On Sunday morning, Dutchman Rick Groeneweg sent us a message that the start of the UCI Gran Fondo Suisse might be postponed due to bad weather. This gran fondo is held near the UCI headquarters in Aigle. This year was the first edition. And what an edition it was. It became a complete water ballet with snow, strong winds and a lot of cold. Hopefully there will be better weather next year, because it is a nice course over some beautiful Swiss mountain passes. Italian Fabio Cini won in the men's race and Swiss Lea Fuchs won in the women's race. Rick Groeneweg came in 11th overall and first in his age group.
Comment from winner Cini: "The weather conditions made the race difficult. The course was very tough with the climbs of Col de la Croix, Col du Pillon, Col des Mosses and the uphill finish on the Col de la Croix. The opponents from different countries made the race uncertain. On the final climb I managed to break away from Carlini and arrive alone. After the race there was a doping control for the top six men. I am satisfied."
More and more people are telling us that Denmark is a very underestimated country for cycling. We have 51 events in our calendar for a reason.
On Sunday, the most prestigious sportivce was on the programme: the Grejsdalsløbet. There are four distances, the longest being 210 km/2400 hm. A total of 25 hills and a finish on the Gammel Kongevej, a road of 20%. You might not expect that in a flat country like Denmark. We challenge you to keep an eye on this country, it is more than worth it.
On Saturday, the gravel lovers had their fill at Grejsdalsloebet Gravel.