2018 Gran Fondo World Tour Series Winners Take Home $10,000 USD

Luise Jugnickel and Jona Orset, 2018 Gran Fondo World Tour ® Series winners, discuss their journey and plans for next season

Women's winner Luise Jugnickel is a German dentist, originally from Berlin, is now located in Denmark in order to pursue a PhD in endodontic epidemiology. She has been riding bikes for the last 12 years, both mountain bike and road. She is a member of the Deaf German National Team and also an amateur team, Velonistas Womens Cycling Berlin, which organizes charity rides for breast cancer awareness and aims to promote womens cycling.

She considers herself an amateur rider, not professional, however her cycling career gained momentum when she won the 2018 German Deaf Championships on the road. Since then, she has became the European Deaf Champion on the mountain bike, in both Cross Country in 2014, and Enduro in 2018.

Women's winner Luise Jugnickel is a German dentist, originally from Berlin

How was this 2018 season experience around the events where participate?

I won a title and two medals in the European Deaf Mountainbike Championships. In the Gran Fondo World Tour, I participated in three races on three continents: the Styrkeprøven Ladies Edition in Norway (191km), Bluewater Gran Fondo in Canada (156km) and Tsogo Sun Amashova in South Africa (160km). Those were three beautiful events with exciting and very different details of race organization, that gave me unique insight into each country's cycling scene, especially about women cycling.

Which one of the events of the series do you recommend to Gran Fondo participants?

I can recommend every single one of the three above, as they all were scenic and very well-organized. If I had to choose, it would be a tight battle between Norway and South Africa. Norway was very scenic and fast, Africa very exotic, very windy, and the people were just amazing.

Which destination do you want to discover for racing a Gran Fondo next year?

I'd like to try riding Sea Otter Europe, or the Maurienne Trilogy.

What are your plans for 2019 season? will you prepare the upgrade to other circuits as Elite or Pro Continental races?

I'm going to try racing in the elite on the mountainbike and will perhaps try some stage racing.

$10,000 USD first prize is a good reward, will you use it for training or to promote charity events where you are participating and promoting?

It's a great reward! I am going to support a charity for Breast Cancer Support; some of it will be used for training, support and racing.


 

Men's winner Jonas Orset, is a 28 year old Norwegian cyclist who’s been in a pro team for several years, in Norway, Sweden, Spain and China, and also teams in Belgium and Colombia. He love's riding and getting out unique experiences on the bike. Riding gives him a feeling of freedom and it’s a great way to meet other people and explore other cultures. Sometimes you get to places you wouldn’t have gone if you didn’t ride. That’s why he really likes the Gran Fondo World Tour, which gives him the opportunity racing around the world. Next to being a rider, he shares his passion on his blog (www.jonasorset.com), and writes regularly for Norwegian cycling magazines and newspapers, organising local events and do some youth coaching too.

Men's winner Jonas Orset, is a 28 year old Norwegian cyclist who’s been in a pro team for several years


How was this 2018 season experience around the events where participate? 

It was overall a great season with many good experiences. I started off with the opening race in Slovenia, followed by an amazing weekend in Kazakhstan and an unusual through-out bike experience at Sea Otter. Just a weekend after I raced the longest race in the GFWT, the 540k Styrkeprøven in Norway. That’s an epic race itself. These races already put me in position to win the series, and I wanted to finish it off doing well in the last race in South Africa, which I managed to win and prove myself as a worthy winner.


Which one of the events of the series  do you recomend to Gran Fondo participants? 

This is a tough one since all races I’ve done have it’s own unique experience. I mean, If you’re a starter it’s good to start off with one of the non-competitive races, and the one in Slovenia is a good kick-off. However, the races in South-Africa and Kazakstan offered a nature and culture quite different than Europe, which I thing is a great thing if you look for a racing you’ll always remember. In Girona in was a great bike expo which gave wide range of possibilities off the bike as well, of combined with other events, f.ex. if you want to do a mtb race one day and be on the road the next one. If you’re looking for a challenge I’d say Styrkeprøven is for you. It’s long and challenging, but definitely something worth training for. I think it’s possible to finish the ultra race for everyone, and it’s an amazing race to push your limits. 


Which destination do you want to discover for racing a Gran Fondo next year?

The 2019 series calendar is not yet confirmed, but if the same races are included, I would love go to South Korea and maybe even try one of the races in North America, where I never raced before. I'm sure Dani, the CEO of GFWT, will offer some new and exciting destinations for 2019! 

What are your plans for 2018 season? Will you prepare the upgrade to other circuits as an Elite or Pro Continental races ? 

I will go though my season and work out a good plan for 2019 in the upcoming weeks. I would love to try to defend last year’s overall wins, and go for the third title in a row. However, with the 2019 series in development, I’m sure it will be a challenge, so I need to commit to make it possible. I need to discuss this with my coach, manager and sponsors and see what is possible in 2019.


$10,000 USD first prize is a good reward;  Will you use it for training or to promote charity events where you are participating and promoting? 

$10,000 USD is a great price and will definitely be well spent in cycling related matters!

It’s and ongoing fight keeping your head above water as a cyclist, outside the UCI World Tour teams. One of my assets as a rider is to promote cycling and the benefits of riding more. For health, environment and just fun! The money will an important contribution to my engagement in the sport. 

Next week I am going to participate in a charity event called Hope for Justice in Cambodia and Vietnam. They are working to fight modern slavery and I will join them on a 380 km bike ride with a goal of promoting freedom, while talking with people saved from slavery and raising money to contine the fight. I believe cycling and freedom are closely related and that the sport of cycling can make a positive impact in the world.

Luise Jugnickel and Jona Orset, 2018 Gran Fondo World Tour ® Series winners, discuss their journey and plans for next season

 
Tag: gfwtseries
 
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