2021 Bike and Beers Series - The Most Fun on Two Wheels!
United States >> From Gran Fondo Champion to Olympic Champion

From Gran Fondo Champion to Olympic Champion

Mass participation cycling races should be essential part of talent discovery and development says GFNY co-founder Uli Fluhme after Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer's shock Olympic Gold Medal

From Gran Fondo Champion to Olympic Champion

When Annemiek Van Vleuten crossed the line with her arms in the air at the Fuji International Speedway, the Dutchwoman thought she had won the women's Olympic road cycling race a week last Sunday.

Only a few moments later, however, an emotional Van Vleuten realised she had finished second behind Austrian Anna Keisenhofer by a healthy margin 75 seconds.

In the race, she initiated a breakaway from the start, and was joined by four other competitors.

With 86 km to go, the leading group, now down to Kiesenhofer, Omer Shapira, and Anna Plichta, formed a 10-minute advantage over the chasing peloton. Kiesenhofer broke away by herself for the final 41 km while climbing the Kagosaka Pass, dropping Shapira and Plichta, who were later caught by the peloton.

Many in the peloton, including Van Vleuten, finished the race unaware that Kiesenhofer was still in front of them. Kiesenhofer later said she "couldn't believe" she won adding that she would have been happy with a top 25 finish.

CNN called it: "one of the biggest shocks in Olympics history"

Amateur Start

Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer won her first Gran Fondo in 2015 at the GFNY Mont Ventoux beating a professional level cyclist by over 45 minutes.

After seeing her stunning performance, GFNY co-founder Uli Fluhme convinced her to try her luck as a pro cyclist. 

Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer won her first Gran Fondo in 2015 at the GFNY Mont Ventoux

In 2016, she won the Coupe d'Espagne and she took a stage win at the Tour de l'Ardèche and briefly wore the leader's pink jersey, finishing second overall.

she took a stage win at the Tour de l'Ardèche and briefly wore the leader's pink jersey, finishing second overall

A year later, the then-26-year-old Kiesenhofer signed with a Belgian pro team Lotto Soudal but the style of circuit racing didn’t suit her strengths. She quit the team and focused on her career as a mathematician.

In 2018 she won the TOUR TransAlp stage race mixed-team category with fellow Austrian Günther Flatscher. She finished second at the very challenging Ötztaler Radmarathon, only beaten by five times women’s champion Laila Orenas.

Olympic Selection

In 2019, Kiesenhofer returned to racing. She won the Mondsee Radmarathon after soloing to victory from the breakaway.

She won the Austrian national road race and time trial championships and placed 20th in the World Championship time trial and won Austrian selection for the Olympics. 

She won the Mondsee Radmarathon after soloing to victory from the breakaway

Olympic Champion

As Austria's sole representative in the 137 km-long Olympic women's road race in Tokyo, Japan, she won the gold medal in the race, crossing the finish line 75 seconds in front of Annemiek van Vleuten.

“Anna is a classic example why the current structure in cycling is broken and why mass participation cycling races like gran fondos should be one of the pillars of discovering and developing future pros,” says Uli Fluhme.

“Speed and explosiveness are heavily overweighed compared to endurance in junior and amateur road racing. This style of racing neither prepares riders for the courses they have to race as pros, nor does it offer endurance talent an equal chance to be seen as a prospect for a pro career.”

Off the bike, the new Olympic Champion has a PhD in mathematics and currently works at the University of Lausanne, combining research with teaching. 

From Gran Fondo Champion to Olympic Champion

VIDEO: Anna Kiesenhofer SPEAKS on being a math genius who just SHOCKED Olympic Cycling with a Gold Medal

 
Tag: gfny
 
Oct 22 2021 - NEWS: GFNY expands its US race calendar with GFNY Waco Texas
Jul 30 2021 - NEWS: From Gran Fondo Champion to Olympic Champion
Feb 10 2021 - NEWS: 10th GFNY World Championship in NYC postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic
Oct 23 2020 - NEWS: Luis Dominguez wins inaugural GFNY Florida Sebring
Aug 26 2020 - NEWS: Inaugural GFNY Florida Sebring Covid-19 safety measures approved
Mar 12 2020 - NEWS: GFNY World Championship postponed until May 2021
Oct 05 2019 - NEWS: Old school rules at GFNY Philippines Asian Championship
Oct 05 2019 - NEWS: Inaugural Alpes Vaujany announced as 2020/21 GFNY Europe Championship
Sep 19 2019 - NEWS: GFNY Philippines to host Asian Championship
Jul 08 2019 - NEWS: La Fortuna hosted second edition of GFNY Costa Rica
Jun 27 2019 - NEWS: New Mexico rider, Fortunato Ferrera conquers GFNY Santa Fe Championship
Jun 19 2019 - NEWS: Cyclist Claims Twin Brother's Identity to Avoid Doping Ban at GFNY Championships
May 26 2019 - NEWS: Campagnolo GFNY World Championship NYC the most international bike race
May 13 2019 - NEWS: Thousands Tune in to watch Campagnolo GFNY World Championship in New York
Apr 25 2019 - NEWS: Gran Fondo New York offers 10,000 U.S. dollars prize to break 4 hours!
May 15 2016 - RESULTS: New Yorker Michael Margarite (Weather Channel Racing) wins the 6th Gran Fondo New York
May 19 2014 - RESULTS: Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York
May 20 2013 - RESULTS: Gran Fondo New York
Mar 25 2018 - EVENT: GFNY Mexico City
May 16 2019 - EVENT: NYC Bike Expo
Aug 04 2019 - EVENT: GFNY Brazil
Mar 22 2020 - EVENT: GFNY Colombia
Dec 06 2020 - EVENT: GFNY Jamaica
Oct 31 2021 - EVENT: GFNY Florida
Nov 07 2021 - EVENT: GFNY Cozumel
Nov 07 2021 - EVENT: GFNY Colonia
Nov 14 2021 - EVENT: GFNY Chile
Mar 06 2022 - EVENT: GFNY Bali
Mar 06 2022 - EVENT: GFNY Monterrey
Mar 20 2022 - EVENT: GFNY Republica Dominicana
Mar 20 2022 - EVENT: GFNY Punta Del Este
Apr 10 2022 - EVENT: GFNY Argentina
May 01 2022 - EVENT: GFNY Mazatlan