This past weekend saw a number of important gran fondos. Time to recap.
In beautiful weather conditions, Belgium's Kathleen Kuypaert of Granfondoteam.be managed to take the win in Mallorca 312. Germany's Yvonne Margraf finished second, ahead of Spain's Pilar Ferragud.
In the men's race, home rider Alejando Martinez Marin took with the win, ahead of Koen van Geyt (Granfondoteam.be) and Roman Locher (CH).
World champion and gran fondo hotshot Patrick Hagenaars (AT) came in first in the medio fondo.
A total of 1552 riders (m/f) reached the finish line of the longest distance, which included 5000 meters of elevation. Among them were yours truly and fellow editor Eveline van der Hek. Full results here.
The French UCI qualifier 66 Degrés Sud attracted significantly more participants this year, which meant that the level was thus another step up. Like last year, the weather was good. A total of 360 riders reached the finish of the gran fondo, and another 404 completed the medio fondo.
Photograph: Wouter Fioole (L) and Nicolien Luijsterburg (R)
In the men's event, there was a complete French podium, consisting of Loick Dussol (1), Gabriel Roger (2) and Alexandre de Marans (3). Our administrator Pieter Frolichs (who the day before won the time trial in his category) finished ninth (and second in the M35 category). Editor Wouter Fioole secured World Cup qualification with his 103rd place (and 18th in category).
In the ladies' event, Axelle Dubot-Prevot (FR) won ahead of Germany's Julia Schallau. Severine Jouan Chavant (FR) finished third. Our own Nicolien Luijsterburg (also category time trial winner) finished a strong seventh and won her category F40.
The most talked about race last weekend was undoubtedly the UCI qualifier Gravel Fondo Limburg. That was mainly due to criticism of the starting order. The organization stood firm and, despite a number of cancellations, decided not to substitute names in the front section.
For the ladies, it was Martha Maltha (NL) who waved the flowers (completely unexpectedly, in her own words). Germany's Janine Schneider came in second, ahead of our Dutchie Tessa Neefjes.
The 24-year-old Belgian Timo Kielich won in the men's race. The one year younger Camaron Mason (GB) was second, ahead of the almost twice as old (40) Aguera Esteban (ES). Jasper Ockeloen was the first Dutchman on P5.
Our ambassador Rick Groeneweg finished in a nice fourth position in his M40 category, just behind Thijs Zonneveld. Zonneveld spoke of "the great megalomaniac catch-up race" and even fell on a descent, but managed to qualify.
716 riders managed to reach the finish line. All results here.