Kopse and Vlaovic winners in a very international Gran Fondo Novi Sad


The first edition of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series event in Serbia saw an international peloton, with 10 different nationalities represented in the top 20 of the men’s race. The 100km Granfondo, which started and finished in Serbia’s second-largest city, highlighted the global appeal of the event.

Slovenia’s Igor Kopse, a multiple world champion in both granfondo and time trial disciplines, emerged as the overall winner. Kopse dominated the race, finishing nearly 5 minutes ahead of his competitors after a long solo breakaway. Drazen Strugar from Croatia secured second place, also finishing alone, while Serbia’s Rastko Nikacevic took third, 6 minutes behind the winner.

In the women’s race, Vanja Vlaovic of Serbia claimed victory by a narrow margin of 11 seconds over Hungary’s Hedvig Havarik. Juliia Iakunina finished third, 6 minutes behind the leader.

The shorter 77km mediofondo, a qualifier for men over 60 and women over 50, saw Oliver Strbac of Serbia and Pepa Dimitrova of Bulgaria take the top spots. In the qualifying categories, Vlatko Sesar from Croatia won the men’s race, while Olja Lapcevic from Serbia triumphed in the women’s event, earning their places to compete at the world championships in Denmark in August.

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