Albi tested Worlds circuit under perfect weather conditions

The car automobile track of Le Sequestre just outside the city of Albi was the venue for the start and finish of the time trial and the finish of the road races of l?Albigeoise, the official French qualifier and later this year host of the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.

The 22km time trial with a first part on shared back-and-forth roads and a second more technical and hilly part proved to be an excellent course to crown the strongest riders later this year.

Overall fastest male over the distance was French Mathieu Dumont beating his compatriot and 2015 road World Champion Samuel Plouhinec and Costa Rican Robert Nunes, World Champion time trial in his age group in 2013.

Good old Jeannie Longo proved to still be in excellent condition as she beated the whole pack of younger females. Two british riders, Jessica Rhodes-Jones and Bronwen Ewing completed the overall female podium.

The Granfondo on Sunday started under the shadow of the world-famous Cathedral in the city center. Men below 60 had a 155km course as official qualifying distance.

Loic Herbreteau finished alone with 19 seconds ahead of Ronan Poulizac and 30 seconds ahead of Raul Portillo Saldamando from Spain.

The 97km race for the females was again for Jeannie Longo who outsprinted four others. Italian Erica Magnaldi came in second while Viviane Rognant finished third.

All males over 60 battled over the same distance for qualification. Fastest male of those age groups was Jean Marc Caplant before Jacques Lucas and Guy Fulcrand.

All riders have evaluated the different courses which can be considered as challenging but not too hard. A flat start and finish with some hills in between. Good for classical riders who can survive a mountain. The time trial has also a flat start and finish with one 500m uphill road which can be done on the big ring for strong riders.

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