Last weekend, riders from the Iberian peninsula and well beyond lined up at the start of the Gran Fondo Coimbra Region in Portugal. All hoped to finish in the top 25% of their age group to secure a qualification for the 2023 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.

A very diverse field, with riders from 23 countries, took on the different races: an individual time trial on Saturday, or the 148km gran fondo or 106 km medio fondo on Sunday. With most of the climbing featuring in the middle of the races, different scenarios were possible, from a lone breakaway to a close sprint.

Saturday’s ITT was won by Francisco Salido (M-ESP) in 26:15.097 (46.11 km/h) and Patrícia Rosa (F-POR) in 31:40.140 (38.22 km/h).

In the men’s race, Matteo Cigala (ITA) beat home rider Filipe Oliveira in the sprint, with Fernandez Martinez (ESP) coming in third, just 3 seconds later. The three had a 40-second advantage over a group of about 30 riders.

In the women’s race, three Portuguese riders took the podium spots. Ana Sobreira finished first, 3 minutes before Marlene Gonçalves and 6 minutes ahead of Liliana Silva. The latter two also came 2nd and 3rd in the ITT, respectively, so a well-earned ‘chapeau’ for their strong performance over the weekend!