20 new granfondo and mediofondo World Champions crowned after hard race on Monte Bondone

The 2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships had its final event with a 144km granfondo and 86km mediofondo with start and finish in the city centre of Trento, but with Monte Bondone (2100m) as major challenge which had to be done one and a half time during the mediofondo and two and a half times during the granfondo, an elevation of respectively 2200 and 3900m.

The start order was with intervals of 3 minutes with younger men starting first and then going up per age and distance. During most categories’ races, an exclusive group of strong riders made a gap during the first climb with the top after 30km to then further decide the race on the second and third climb before going down to the finish. Apart from the women 19-34 and 40-44 and men 45-49, all new world champions finished after a solo break.

In the M19-34, Austrian Stefan Kirchmair reached the top of the final climb with a 5 seconds margin to then extend it in the downhill and reach the finish line with 31 seconds to Swiss Dimitri Bussard while Belgian Sieben Devalckeneer got bronze 37 behind the winner. The average speed of Kirchmair on this hard course was 33.95 km/h. He’s also the overall fastest rider of the day.

The M35-39 age group resulted in a first Italian granfondo gold with Francesco Figini winning before his compatriots Andrea Miotto and Belgian Tim Alleman.

Austrian Patrick Hagenaars was the strongest in the M40-44 category with a 43 seconds gap to Belgian Frederic Glorieux who beated Slovenian Dean Bratus in the sprint for silver. Igor Kopse (SLO) added a 8th gold medal to his list in the only male sprint finish in the M45-49 World Championships. French David De Vecchi was beated on the line while his compatriot Loic Herbreateau took bronze.

Roger Devittori (SUI) had a 4 minutes margin at the finish to take gold in the M50-54 age group with Hornetz Bernd (GER) in second and Coen De Wit (NED) in third.

The final male category on the granfondo distance resulted in two Germans battling for gold with finally Michael Schaeffer winning the rainbow jersey before Wolfgang Hofmann while Austrian Walter Lehki took third spot.

In the M60-64 age group, the new world titles were awarded after the 86km mediofondo distance with a complete Italian podium. Giorgio Chiarini got almost one minute to Stefano Colage while defending world champion Giovanni Lattanzi took bronze, all within the same minute.

The M65-69 was won by local Silvano Janes (ITA) with a margin of more than 10 minutes to Erwin Hickl (GER) and Johann Taucher (AUT).

The defending world champion was also the new world champion in the M70-74 age group as Rudolf Sluyts (BEL) got a second rainbow jersey after also winning the time trial gold on Thursday. French Liberto Correas got silver and Dutch Jac Roemermann took bronze, the color he also had in the time trial.

Also Josef Bichl (AUT) renewed his title from last year in Sarajevo by winning the M75-79 age group with Rudi Ravbar (SLO) in second and time trial world champion Christian Gibelin in third.

Silvano Assaloni (ITA) beated time trial world champion Mecislavs Bartusevics (LAT) and Herbert Lackner to take the gold in the M80-84 age group.

All respect for South African Arthur Duncan who completed the challenging 86km course with a challenging 20km climb to start at the age of 87 to finish in an average speed of 14km/h to take his second gold after also winning the rainbow jersey in the time trial last Thursday.

The women up to the age of 50 also had to do the challenging granfondo course. Laura Simenc (SLO) took her fourth rainbow jersey in the only category finishing with 3 in downtown Trento. Simenc outsprinted Italians Martina Trevisiol and Samantha Arnaudo to win the F19-34 title.

The sprint with three was actually a sprint with 4 women as Dutch Martha Maltha also started in the same start wave as the youngest female category. She won the sprint for the fastest female overall time in the granfondo to win the F35-39 rainbow jersey. Italian Maria Elena Palmisano and Dutch Mimi Ter Beek were the respective silver and bronze medal winners.

Another Dutch gold in the F40-44 category where Nicolien Luijsterburg (NED) outsprinted Elena Cairo (ITA) on the line while Florence Le Gallic (FRA) took bronze.

The final category competing in the long distance was won by Christina Rausch (GER) who had a 6,5 minute margin to Ils Van der Moeren (BEL) with Amy Phillips (USA) in third. In the F50-54 age category competing in the mediofondo distance, Giuseppina Michela Bergozza (ITA) was 5 minutes faster than Marijke De Smedt (BEL) with Luisa Isonni (ITA) in third.

The F55-59 category resulted in a complete Italian podium with Olga Cappiello winning before her compatriots Maria Cristina Prati and Elena Pancari.

Jeannie Longo (FRA) took her 10th world title in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships after she started to participate in 2015 in Denmark. Her nearest opponents in the F60-64 age category were Carol McCallum (NZL) and Patrizia Cabella (ITA)

The final title in the oldest women category was for Finnish Tarja Simakkala who was more than 6 minutes faster than Sabina Hickmet (GBR) while time trial world champion Jozefa Anzel (SLO) took bronze.

Only 3 riders made the double winning both the time trial and granfondo/mediofondo world title with Rudolf Sluyts (BEL), Arthur Duncan (M85-89) and finally Jeannie Longo (F60-64). An exceptional performance given the very different type of races with the flat time trial and mountain road races.

3 males renewed their worldtitle with Igor Kopse (45-49), Rudolf Sluyts (70-74) and Josef Bichl (75-79) while Jeannie Longo (60-64) was the only female to successfully defend her title from last year!

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