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United States >> Domenico Romano wins La Campionissimo Gran Fondo after Gavia Landslide forces riders to climb the Mortirolo - Twice!

Domenico Romano wins La Campionissimo Gran Fondo after Gavia Landslide forces riders to climb the Mortirolo Twice

Neapolitan Domenico Romano, from Lake Garda, raised his arms to heaven at the finish line in Aprica, confirming his good form at the moment, as he demonstrated last week in the Gran Fondo Maratona de la Al Camonega.

June 26, 2016, Aprica, Italy - La Campionissimo has everything the international cyclist wants in an Italian Gran Fondo. Iconic climbs such as the Gavia and Mortirolo, offer challenge and beauty in equal measure.  Assos are the official sponsor and every rider is given the official jersey to wear during the race. Aprica, which recently hosted the arrival of a stage of the Giro d’Italia, is a great town to explore when not riding. The event is one of the best Italian Gran Fondo's

One kick by Romano, at the beginning of Santa Cristina, forced the breakaway companions to chase, but he stayed away and Aprica awarded him the gold medal.

The twelfth edition saw a landslide in Valfurva 3 days before the event due to the torrential rain, which forced the route to be changed, missing out one of the best climbs in Italy, that of the Gavia.

So the organizing committee of the GS of Sondrio Alps, invoked "Plan B", which provided for the double ascent of the Mortirolo!

One of the hardest climbs in cycling, the Mortirolo, is not the Gavia and this limited final entries, as well as some no show by a handful of participants, prefering to climb the Gavia in solitude, (you can't blame them, it's so good).

With the new route and safety procedures put in place, over 400 riders from all over the world including England, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, and further still with rides from Japan, Korea, and  Brazilian Portuguese. A whole new economy of tourism was represented in Aprica.

On the Saturday afternoon a huge downpour flooded the roads with grave and conifer needles. Overnight the oragnizing team cleared the roads of all debris.

At 7:30 am on Sunday morning, in the presence of the Mayor of Aprica, Carla Cioccarelli, and under direction of Assos, kicked off the first start sending Gran Fondo riders towards the descent of Edolo at a controlled rate. At 7:40 the participants of Medio Fondo stated and finally at 7:50 in the Piccolo Fondo riders.

After the descent of Edolo riders along Val Camonica and Monno to face the first ascent of the back of Mortirolo climb. The climb is not too hard, but has sections with slopes in double digits. The climb does not skimp on radient and those who came to admire the Alps, did not go home disappointed!

At the top, the Piccolo Fondo riders turned towards Trivigno, to tackle the climb to Santa Cristina and finish their labors after 85 km. Niki Giussani took the win, in front of Francesco Avanzo, relegating David Spiazzi to third step of the podium. Among the women, Swiss rider Alessia Villa won gold, in second was Barbara Marangoni, with Natalia Glowa closing the podium.

Participants in the Medio Fondo and Gran Fondo, however, faced the descent to Grosio. Technical and steep but with great tarmac. The new route came out to Route 38 towards the Stelvio and skirted around Adda.

It's here that the riders hit the Monster of the climb, the hard side of the Mortirolo, with its 12 kilometers and 1,200 meters to climb, with long pitches of gradient of 18%.

By this point a group of 6 riders were in front, the rest of the main field unable to keep up, imploded and everyone rode their own pace.

Reaching the top of the Mortirolo (or Passo della Foppa), for the second time, riders headed towards Trivigno. Riders able to enjoy the descent, however the road was still long, sometimes flat. Finally at Trivigno, it descended down to Aprica.

Once at the starting point, the Medio Fondo riders met the finish. The first to cross the finish linewas Florentine Fiesole Davide Lombardi, preceding by Federico Short and Andrea Pontalto. Winner of women's Medio Fondo, Geram speaking Swiss Laila Orenos, won easily ahead of Brescian Silvia Porcini, and Brazilian Juliana Cerize in third place.

The Gran Fondo, Aprica, passed behind the line, back down the valley, after six kilometers, turned right towards Passo Santa Cristina. Here the road comes alive. Domenico Romano launched an attack to split the lead group. Vicenza Enrico Zen launches an attack in pursuit, with two kilometers from the summit. The Neapolitan, Zen took an advantage to try and close the gap up to Romano on the last uphill kilometer to the finish line.

Domenico Romano to raised his arms to the sky to take the win. Second place went to Enrico Zen. Third place after a great performance, went to the young Andrea Pirovano.

The women's Gran Fondo was was won by Carla Pirondini, in front of Viviana Brazzo, with Brescian Maria Elena Palmisano in third place.

"This was a complicated race" - said Vittorio Mevio, owner of GS Alps and chief organizer - "the landslide and the rain has created many organizational problems. It was regrettable not to be able to climb the Gavia, but the landslide unfortunately made it perfectly clear, the road was closed to sporting events. Fortunately we had planned an authorized alternative route, or else in three days before the event, it would have been impossible to change the path!"

"A big thanks goes to the administration of Aprica town which for twelve years, believes in this event, as it becomes more and more international with cyclists aroud the world."

"I also would like to thank all the volunteers who worked so hard on the course and to entertain all the participants."

Results Gran Fondo Men

1. Domenico Romano [ITA] (Biemme Garda Sport); 4:29:15
2. Enrico Zen [ITA] (Team Beraldo Greenpaper Biomin); 4:29:18
3. Andrea Pirovano [ITA] (ASD Team Morotti); 4:29:43
4. Nicholas Bennato [ITA] (Team Oliveto ASD); 4:30:19
5. Paul Castelnovo [ITA] (ASD Team UCSA); 4:31:29
6. Paul Minuzzo [ITA] (Team Granfondo Liotto); 4:33:54
7. Corbetta Riccardo [ITA] (System Cars Asnaghi); 4:33:55
8. Andrea Natali [ITA] (Team Trapletti Peace ASD); 4:36:58
9. Enrico Dogliotti [ITA] (Team De Rosa Santini); 4:37:31
10. Andrea Castelletti [ITA] (X-Bike Team); 4:41:51

Gran Fondo Women

1. Carla Pirondini [ITA] (New Short Racing Team); 5:28:21
2. Viviana Brazzo [ITA] (ASD Perini Bike Team); 5:37:04
3. Maria Elena Palmisano [ITA] (Snape Team); 5:40:43
4. Ylenia Polti [ITA] (MTBike Team); 5:44:04
5. Martina Pomper [GER] (SRM); 6:07:12

Medio Fondo Men

1. Davide Lombardi [ITA] (Cycle S.Ginese Team); 3:36:30
2. Federico Short [ITA] (Team Viesse Rotopress Tirano); 3:39:40
3. Andrea Pontalto [ITA] (Ale 'Cipollini Galaxy); 3:40:12
4. Graziano Paris [ITA] (Individual); 3:43:52
5. Simone Orsucci [ITA] (Cycle S.Ginese Team); 3:46:28
6. Cristian Ferretti [ITA] (Free Bike Team ASD); 3:47:29
7. Erminio Marco Angeli [ITA] (Team Viesse Rotopress Tirano); 3:48:55
8. Federico Savasi [ITA] (ASD Ex3Mo True Racing); 3:50:49
9. Christian Martinelli [ITA] (Alta Valtellina Bike ASD); 3:51:50
10. Dario Montanari [ITA] (ASD Ex3Mo True Racing); 3:53:54

Medio Fondo Female

1. Orenos Laila [ON] (Team Innomat.Ch); 4:11:24
2. Silvia Porcini [ITA] (Team Solura); 4:54:08
3. Juliana Cerize [BRA] (Individual); 5:01:31
4. Michela Marani [ITA] (Praise Team Millenium); 5:08:14
5. Carla Socialites [ITA] (ASD Perini Bike Team); 5:13:13

Piccolo Fondo Men

1. Niki Giussani [ITA] (Team Trapletti Peace ASD); 2:57:42
2. Francesco Avanzo [ITA] (Bren Team Trento ASD); 2:59:32
3. Davide Spiazzi [ITA] (ASD Total Speed); 2:59:53
4. Enzo Gnani [ITA] (Gnani Bike Team); 2:59:54
5. Omar Manzoni [ITA] (Team Isolmant); 3:00:05
6. Giuseppe Tornese [ITA] (ASD Team UCSA); 3:02:57
7. Michele Attolini [ITA] (ASD Team Rana - Tagliaro); 3:04:59
8. Rudy Zanardelli [ITA] (Individual); 3:05:00
9. Simone Zampatti [ITA] (Team Viesse Rotopress Tirano); 3:06:50
10. Fabrizio Puricelli [ITA] (Team Memobici ASD); 3:06:50

Piccolo Fondo Women

1. Alessia Villa [ON] (Individual); 3:35:24
2. Barbara Marangon [ITA] (ASD Malpensa Bike); 3:41:24
3. Natalia Glowa [ITA] (Ciclotech Frascati); 3:41:25
4. Claudia Bertoncini [ITA] (Velo Club Maggi 1906 ASD); 3:44:54
5. Mariagrazia Villanova [ITA] (System Cars Kitchens Asnaghi Team Chiappucci); 3:45:28

Team Award

1. Makakoteam;
3. Team Viesse Rotopress

The Peleton climbs up towards Val CamonicaThe PeletonPasso Santa CristinaThe start of the Legendary Mortirolo
Domenico Romano wins La Campionissimo Gran Fondo