GFNY Florida Sebring: a hattrick – and an attempted escape from USADA

Santamaria three-peats while Mexican Montañez Barroso declines antidoping control. Americans Nikki Criscuolo and William Conley won the race.

GFNY Florida Sebring: a hattrick – and an attempted escape from USADA

A sprint decided the male and female race at the 3rd GFNY Florida Sebring. The 95 miles long course makes the race Florida’s hardest bike race.

After a string of attacks from the gun, it was at mile 20 when a group of six riders, including double GFNY Florida Sebring Champion Leon Santamaría (Colombia), Felipe Aros (Chile) and former Israel Cycling Academy pro Luis Lemus (Mexico), successfully got away from the peloton. Working well together, they extended their lead first to a minute where it stayed a long time, and later to as much as three minutes.

With 20 miles to go, Lemus suffered a puncture and the group was down to four. Attacks started and while no one was able to escape, the peloton came as close as 90 seconds again. In the four man sprint to the line Santamaría again took the win in 3:44:05 ahead of Gary Hand (United Kingdom) and Felipe Aros.

In the female race, María F. Paz (Colombia) outsprinted everyone in 3:49:53, followed by Lorraine Fuentes (USA) and last year ‘s GFNY Florida Sebring Champion Alejandra Echeverri.

At the finish, however, there was a controversy during the antidoping controls administered by USADA: fourth place finisher Elias Montañez Barros (Merida, Mexico) sprinted away faster from the antidoping chaperone than to the race finish. After a hectic chase, he was found in his car, changed and ready to leave.

First he pretended to be someone else but his wristband identified him. He then was brought to the USADA testing tent where he was explained the consequences of declining to be tested: a four year racing ban. Yet, he refused to get tested and walked off. In addition to his global racing ban of four years, he received a lifetime ban from racing any GFNY.

In competition (IC) testing is and remains important to show force and detract athletes from cheating,” says GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme.

“IC testing is often dubbed an ‘IQ test’. But it also means that athletes have to microdose or stop taking drugs earlier before the race. Add to that the performance detrimental anxiety of actually testing positive. Half times of drugs aren’t an exact science because they depend on the athlete’s metabolism and factors like hydration. All this forces a doper to take less drugs. And if they don’t expect to get tested at all – like Montañez Barroso – then IC testing is obviously as effective as out of competition testing.

OOC testing remains a key pillar of GFNY’s antidoping strategy since 2012. GFNY keeps exploring ways to keep its races as clean as possible. The vast majority of riders race clean and deserve this effort.

Sadly, we’re quite alone among mass participation race organizers with our antidoping actions,” Fluhme adds. “I’ve lobbied for two decades for antidoping at mass participation races but it’s costly so most prefer not to spend money on it. While we keep doing what I can, I highly encourage riders to choose wisely where to race. At GFNY, dopers are not welcome.”

GFNY has been testing bikes for motors since 2017. All checked bikes at GFNY Florida Sebring had no motor.

Saturday’s second GFNY Marathon Florida was held on a lightening fast course. Officially measured, it’s a qualifier for the Wanda Age Group Marathon World Championships in 2023 as well as the Boston and NYC marathons. Temperatures in the 50s were unseasonably cool yet ideal for racing. Americans Nikki Criscuolo and William Conley won the race.

Link to 2022 GFNY Florida Sebring results:

Next up on the GFNY calendar is GFNY Panama City which will take place on Sunday, October 30, 2022.

Tag: gfny
May 22 2024 - NEWS: Tibor Del Grosso wins the GP and Caddeo and Beccaria the GFNY Championship
May 19 2024 - NEWS: Lorenza and Caddeo win 2024 Michelob Ultra GFNY NYC Championship
May 19 2024 - NEWS: Tibor Del Grosso wins inaugural Gran Premio New York City from four man breakaway
May 16 2024 - NEWS: Inaugural Gran Premio New York City and 12th Michelob Ultra GFNY World Championship
May 09 2024 - NEWS: Belgian team Lotto dstny is racing GP New York City
Apr 26 2024 - NEWS: De Silvestris beats Frederick in sprint finish at inaugural GFNY Miami
Mar 22 2024 - NEWS: Asconeguy and García win GFNY Uruguay-Punta del Este
Mar 28 2024 - NEWS: Vercammen and Chavano fastest at Sold Out at GFNY Cannes
Mar 15 2024 - NEWS: Cedeno and Otero fastest at GFNY Republica Dominicana 2024
Feb 21 2024 - NEWS: Top Bike Brands confirmed for 12th Annual NYC Bike Expo
Jan 25 2024 - NEWS: The GFNY 2024 race calendar comes with a world premier
Nov 30 2023 - NEWS: GFNY announces UCI pro race Gran Premio New York City
Sep 22 2023 - NEWS: Chambers and Brittain fastest at 5th Annual GFNY Bali
Aug 31 2023 - NEWS: Two GFNY Europe race reports from this past Super Sunday
Aug 11 2023 - NEWS: Sprint finish at Inaugural GFNY Rockford-Illinois
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
Jun 08 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Paracas
Jun 16 2024 - EVENT: GFNY La Vaujany Alpe d'Huez
Jun 16 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Pennsylvania York
Jun 23 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Lourdes Tourmalet
Jul 14 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Costa Rica
Jul 21 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Grand Ballon
Aug 04 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Conservatória
Aug 24 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Uppsala
Aug 25 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Orcieres
Sep 01 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Alpes Vaujany Croix de Fer
Sep 08 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Zapopan
Sep 29 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Chile
Sep 29 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Manta
Oct 06 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Peru
Oct 06 2024 - EVENT: GFNY Cusco