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13-09-2022 | Frank Jansen

UCI WC Gran Fondo Trento preview

This week marks the season finale of the gran fondo season. In Trento, Italy, men and women from all over the world will compete for those coveted gran fondo world titles. CycloWorld will be there to cover it!

History

The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships does not have a long history. The event only saw the light of day in 2011. Because the 2020 edition didn't happen, this year's edition will be the 11th edition. Last year, the World Championships were held in Sarajevo under miserable weather conditions. Just read back the report.

The concept has hardly changed in all these years. You have to qualify by riding among the best 20% in your age group in races that belong to the UCI Gran Fondo World Series. At the World Cup, you ride for your country and thus wear the colors of your country. There is usually hardly any team play: you ride for your own success.

The program

  • Thursday, September 15: individual time trial
  • Friday, September 16: relay
  • Sunday, September 18: gran fondo and medio fondo

Categories

For the road races, the riders will start in categories, with 5 minutes in between the pens. Some pens will be merged because they are too small. What is certain is that the event will produce not one world champion but several. In the men's race there are 11, in the women's race 9. The distance you ride depends on your age. For the men, the schedule looks like this:

AgeDistance
19-34Gran fondo
35-39Gran fondo
40-44Gran fondo
45-49Gran fondo
50-54Gran fondo
55-59Gran fondo
60-64Medio fondo
65-69Medio fondo
70-74Medio fondo
75-79Medio fondo
80-84Medio fondo


And for the ladies, the list looks like this:

AgeDistance
19-34Gran fondo
35-39Gran fondo
40-44Gran fondo
45-49Gran fondo
50-54Medio fondo
55-59Medio fondo
60-64Medio fondo
65-69Medio fondo
70-74Medio fondo

Gran fondo

The riders will start with a more or less flat pull south, before climbing Monte Bondone from Aldeno. This is a very steep, irregular 22km climb that goes mostly through a forest, with serveral kilometers averaging 10%. The average percentage of 6.4% is skewed quite a bit as it also includes easier parts. The descent is super fast. Next, the Monte Bondone is also climbed from the north side. This climb (approx. 19 km, 7.5% average) is slightly easier than the south side, but is still anything but easy. The climb is virtually unprotected and in sunny weather it can be blisteringly hot. To get back to Trento, the peloton has to go up Bondone another half time.

In total 145 km and 4000m+. The totals are therefore quite similar to for example the Maratona dles Dolomites. The course looks a bit like the old Leggendaria Charly Gaul, but just a bit different.

Medio fondo

In the medio fondo the participants will also have to work hard. The course is similar to the gran fondo, but without the 2nd passage of the Bondone. Good for 87 with about 2200 meters of climbing. Everything but easy!

List of participants

Favorites road race

  • Michiel Minnaert (BE, M19-34). Belgian top rider, two times Marmotte winner. Recently finished 3rd in a strong Charly Gaul race. Won GFNY Grand Ballon.
  • Johnny Hoogerland (NL, M35-39). Won almost everywhere he started this year, including the Kitzbuheler Radmarathon (KRM).
  • Martha Maltha (NL, F35-39). Won the Maratona dles Dolomites and the GF Pinarello this year.
  • Frederic Glorieux (BE, M40-44). Put in a strong season with several podiums and a win in the Alpen Challenge.
  • Rick Groeneweg (NL, M40-44). Most recently took the category win in the Haute Route Dolomites.
  • Patrick Hagenaars (AT, M40-44). Austrian gran fondo hotshot. Had strong performances at the KRM (3rd) and Ötztaler (8th).
  • Loïc Ruffaut (SUI, M19-34). Swiss top rider. Won GF La Madeleine this year and recently the Marmotte Pyrenees. He has also taken numerous 2nd places.
  • Stefan Kirchmair (AT, M19-34). The man of the season. Won the Marmotte, L'Étape du Tour, the Arlbergiro and the Tour des Stations.
  • Sieben Devalckeneer (BE, M19-34). He's also in good shape, having recently won the revamped Velomediane Le Defi.
  • Fabio Cini (IT, M19-34). The Italian hope. An outsider this year, as he is recovering from a serious crash. Did not finish the ORM.
  • Tommaso Elettrico (IT, M34-39). Winner of numerous mainly Italian gran fondos this season. Finished 2nd in the Maratona.
  • Marti Valks (NL, F65-69). A regular at the World Cup and the favorite for the world title this year as well.
  • Tim Alleman (BE, M35-39). Winner of GFNY La Vaujany this year.
  • Coen de Wit (NL, M50-55). Category winner this year's La Marmotte.
  • Gaby van Caulil (NL, M50-55). Second in category in La Marmotte, winer Rad am Ring.
  • Olivier Godfroid (BE, M19-34). Won Mallorca 312 came in third in La Marmotte.
  • Arne Bauters (BE, M19-34). Should be able to make it to the podium. Winner Les 3 Ballons, came in second in La Madeleine.

Weather forecast

Most weather reports are fairly positive about the weekend: jus tover 20 degrees with some sun and some clouds. On Thursday and Friday, however, there is more uncertainty. On both days there could be rain. We'll have to wait and see.

CycloWorld at the start

Although the World Championship is of course run by country and not by team, CycloWorld is present with a nice delegation.

  • Our Spain admin Pieter Frolichs (NL) will keep the honour in the M34-39 category. A top-10 finish is certainly not impossible.
  • His girlfriend and also Spain administrator Nicolien Luijsterburg (NL) will start in the F40-44 category. She rode a decent ORM (p17) but wants more.
  • Editor Luc Nouwen (BE) will give his all in the medio fondo (M60-64 category).
  • Last but not least editor Wouter Fioole (NL). He will be battling in the M40-44 category.

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