Biggest UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in history concluded with the road races

With a start at 8.30am in the morning, the men 19-34 left off for the 155km course with some climbing halfway and a very beautiful but challenging road. With three kilometers to go, three riders escaped and it was Bjorn De Decker (BEL) outsprinting time trial World Champion Matej Lovse (SLO) for victory. Maxim Pirard (BEL) finished in third.

The Men 35-39, leaving with an interval of 7 minutes had Jean Marc Maurin (FRA) as new World Champion. He was faster than Carlos Gomez (POR) and another compatriot Fabien Fraissignes (FRA). Samuel Plouhinec (FRA) renewed his worldtitle of Denmark 2015 and his ITT title of Thursday with a large gap to Akihiro Takaoka (JAP) who delivered Asia a first medal since the series started in 2011. German Michael Kopf completed the podium.

Bruce Bird, already world champion in 2014 in Ljubljana and organizer of the Canadian qualifier in the Blue Mountains got away after 35k with the 2015 world champion Dan Martin, but he was left behind with a mechanical problem so Bruce had to do the last part alone. David Rowlands (NZL) and Marc Faure (FRA) were the other two podium contenders.

Pascal Montier (FRA) was another French World champion in the M50-54 age group before his compatriot Jean-Michel Chemin and the Irish ITT world champion Gregory Swinnand. In the M55-59, Alain Ignace and René Taillander also delivered the home country the two highest podium steps while ex pro rider Stephano Collagé finished in third.

Krister Bergstrom (SWE) outsprinted Yves Vitalis (FRA) and Mikalai Baklanau (BLR) in a big bunch sprint of 30 riders to take the gold in the first race leaving on the shorter 97km course. Rudolf Sluyts (BEL) attacked on the last climb of the day to take more than a minute to finally win with 36 seconds to Guy Fulcrand (FRA) and Gijs Nederlof (HOL) in the Men 65-69.

Pierre Moreau beated Michael Holmes and Christian Gibelin (FRA) in a 5 men sprint for victory in the 70-74 age group while Richard Barville (AUS) can be proud to be crowned the first 75+ world champion a few minutes ahead of John Ginley (GBR) and Edmund Spurgeon (GBR). The females who left in three start groups also had to do the 97km course.

Emily Rodger (CAN) took after the time trial title in Perth last year also the road race title in Albi after she already finished in third in the time trial on Thursday. She outsprinted a large group of some 15 riders with Marta Gogolewska (POL) and Stephanie Baud (FRA) on the lower podium steps. Sophie Evrard (FRA) delivered France the gold in the same sprint that decided the F19-34. A second world title for her after Denmark 2015. Therese Hoebanckx (FRA) and Bronwyn MacGregor (NZL) took silver and bronze.

Italian Simona Parenta showed her very strong legs with a long solo attack to win the F40-44. The world champion of the past two years, Astrid Schartmuller (GER) got in second more than 4 minutes later while Stephanie Gros (FRA) lost more than 6 minutes.

Florence Nacio Casalies (FRA)who stayed together with Schartmuller took the gold in the F45-49. Iban Bohe from Denmark and Kristin Falck from Norway were the fastest of the group behind.

Anna Svardstrom (SWE) was the fastest of the last start combining all women over 50. She was almost a minute ahead of two Italian ladies with Olga Cappiello in second and Milena Felici in third.

Claudia Carceroni de Carvahlo (FRA) made the home crowd sheer for her as she took the title in her own city after she moved from Brazil to France decades ago. Lynne Anderson (USA) and Anita Serafini (SWI) stood by her side on the podium.

Anne-Marie Miller (USA) renewed her many titles from the first years of the Gran Fondo World Championships. She had to skip the past two after an accident and a long recovery but proved to be back beating Nadine Niemerich (FRA) and Meriel Custance (AUS).

The oldest female age group with riders above 65 was for Julia Emblin (AUS). Another title after South Africa 2012 and Perth last year. Gaye Lynn (AUS) took silver and time trial champion Sharon Prutton (NZL) bronze.

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