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Rain doesn't Stop Play for 2nd Edition of the Epic Gran Fondo Mont Blanc

Over 700 cyclists lined up last weekend in the ski resort of Courmayeur in Northern Italy for the 2nd edition of the Gran Fondo Mont Blanc.

Last year's event being cancelled due to torrential rain that damaged roads.

Registrations had continued even in the days before the event raising the total to 1200 entries.

On Sunday morning, with rain-laden clouds, just over 700 cyclists took place in the starting grids alongside the Forum Sport Center in Courmayeur, to depart at 7.00 am.

Dry weather and temperatures throughout the first descent, brought the main group to Cerellaz.

During the descent to Aosta, the deluge of rain started, giving riders advance warning of whether to ride the Medio Fondo or Gran Fondo!

At the junction of routes placed at Arvier, the bulk of the ridehad no doubts and opted to continue along the highway and proceed on the path of Medio Fondo, cutting short their ride.

Only 136 brave souls continued on to tackle the 138 km Gran Fondo route, heading towards the climbs of  in the Combes, with the tough ascent to Colle San Carlo, Cima Coppi at 1,951 metres high.

The last part of the climb from St Didier from Prè in Courmayeur, port would have to give a beautiful view of the Mont Blanc, which was unfortunately completely obscured by dense clouds.

Tourists and spectators welcomed the riders back to Courmayeur where they enjoyed a pasta party.

Alberto Laurora, the Organizer – "today was really hard to convince the riders to start, but turnout was still good. The course was well marked and with ample marshalls and safety in place, despite the terrible weather. Due to the terrible conditi ons, we chose to open the pasta party to attendants at no additional cost. We are very keen to continue to offer a quality event under all circumstances. We will see you all at the third edition, which will start Sunday, July 19, 2015"

Gran Fondo Men

1.Alessio Ricciardi (A.S.D. Sun-Team); 04:35:00; 30.22 km/h

2.Jacopo Padoan (71 Sport Team); 04:42:08; 29,36 km/h

3.Riccardo Corbetta (Team Carimate Kemo); 04:42:30; 29.41 km/h

4.Fabrizio Casartelli (Team Carimate Kemo); 04:43:47; 29.27 km/h

5.Marco Canella (Team Cinelli Santini); 04:46:30; 28.92 km/h

6.Francesco Pontiggia (Ktm Protek Torrevilla Mtb Asd); 04:49:30; 28.64 km/h

7.Luca Stangoni (Team Memo Bici); 04:52:19; 28,39 km/h

8.Matteo Falzetti (Asd Cicli Capella Racing Team); 04:52:41; 28,36 km/h

9.Stefano McDaniel (Team Tokens Cicli Bettoni Costa Volpino); 04:56:23; 28.02 km/h

10.Bruno Sanetti (Asd Valsesia bike); 04:57:00; 27.93 km/h

Gran Fondo Women

1.Vincenza Fumarola (Royal Team Asd); 05:49:33; 23.7 km/h

2.Maria Elena Palmisano (Team Piton); 05:55:00; 23.39 km/h

3.Ilaria Zavanone (Asd Jolly Europrestige); 06:19:15; 21.91 km/h

Medio Fondo Men

1.Riccardo Toia (team feat); 02:51:06; 32.67 km/h

2.Niki Giussani (team feat); 02:51:07; 32,61 km/h

3.Mattia Luboz (Cicli Benato); 02:51:45; 32.35 km/h

4.Alain Seletto (Asd Valsesia bike); 02:51:47; 32.42 km/h

5.Daniele Gualeni (Team Tokens Cicli Bettoni Costa Volpino); 02:52:02; 32,38 km/h

6.Maurizio Anzalone (team feat); 02:56:48; 31.6 km/h

7.Aldo Barone (Asd Team Brianza); 03:00:32; 30.77 km/h

8.Alberto Bianchi (team feat); 03:00:52; 30,89 km/h

9.Marco Aguzzi (Team Bike Corteolona); 03:00:53; 30.79 km/h

10.Alessandro Togni (Asd Team Viesse Pro); 03:01:08; 30,77 km/h

Medio Fondo Women

1.Olga Cappiello (Team Cinelli Santini); 03:14:34; 28,54 km/h

2.Florinda Neri (Frecce Rosse Rimini); 03:20:35; 27,69 km/h

3.Ilaria Veronese (Scott Val Sangone Mtb A.S.D.); 03:22:34; 27,66 km/h

4.Valentina Mabritto (Racing Rosola Team); 03:25:13; 27,14 km/h

5.Lorenzina Rosset (Team Cinelli Santini); 03:31:54; 26,21 km/h