Simenc and Zandri fastest at UCI Istria Granfondo in Croatia

1,000 riders from 33 different countries took part in the tenth edition and second qualifying event for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Umag, Croatia, Istria this weekend

Simenc and Zandri fastest at UCI Istria Granfondo in Croatia

This weekend, for the second year in a row, Croatia’s Istria Gran Fondo offered amateur riders the chance to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. As one of the biggest mass participation events in the country, racing started along the Italian border on Friday with a time trial and concluded Saturday with fondos rolling past beautiful springtime landscapes filled with vineyards.

Set amidst the Stella Maris holiday complex, with its array of accommodations and sports facilities, the event took place near the Croatian peninsula’s border with Slovenia and Italy.

The time trial on Friday introduced a new 21.8km route, encompassing a challenging out-and-back loop that ascends slightly before returning to come back on the other side of the road. Former UCI Gran Fondo World Champion Igor Kopse was fatest, the 50 year-old Slovenian finished in a time of 28m 51s, averaging 46.35kph. German Tobias Eise was second and British rider Matthew Smith was third.

In the women's time trial, Dutchwomen Analeen Bosma was fastest in a time of 32m 52s. Belgian Marijke De Smedt was second and Slovenian Petra Pasar was third fastest.

2024-istria-granfondo-results2

On Saturday, the 112km Granfondo served as the qualifying distance for younger participants. Men over 60 and women over 50 qualified on the 87km Mediofondo course, which shared the same route but skiped the second loop. The daunting 6km Oprtalj climb, was tackled twice during the Granfondo, ad stood out as the day’s primary challenge, with its average gradient of 7.8% and peaks reaching up to 12% at the outset.

Saturday’s 112km Granfondo saw former Italian pro Francesco Zandri, sprint to victory from a large group of  riders in 2h 56m 5s, ahaed of Austrian Leopold Hans-Jorge and Italian Matteo Cigala.

Former UCI Gran Fondo World Time Trial Champion and Slovenian Laura Simenc won the women’s Granfondo by almost seven minutes in a time of 3h 10m 22s ahead of Austrians Denise Zohrer  and Katharina Urdl.

Marijke De Smedt won the women’s 87km Mediofondo in 2h 28m 50s and Patrik Mikac won the men’s Mediofondo in a time of 2h 13m 15s.

Riders finishing in the top 25% of their category have automatically qualifiied to participate in the upcoming UCI Gran Fondo World Championships taking place in Aalborg, Denmark from 29 August to 1 September 2024. 

This year’s event saw remarkable growth, with over 1,000 riders from 33 different countries registering— a nearly 50% increase compared to last year.

2024 UCI Istria Gran Fondo Results: https://protime.si/hr/dogodek/10-istria-granfondo

 
Tag: istriagranfondo
 
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