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!
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.
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:
And for the ladies, the list looks like this:
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.
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!
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.
Although the World Championship is of course run by country and not by team, CycloWorld is present with a nice delegation.