New Mexico rider Fortunato Ferrara (RA Racing Apparel/BMC), wearing bib #1, soloed to victory on the final climb at the inaugural GFNY Santa Fe 76-mile race on Sunday.
A field of 300 riders, including World Champion Nelson Vails and Olympian David Lettiere, started from downtown Santa Fe’s historic Plaza in perfect conditions, including crystal clear New Mexico blue skies and cool temperatures.
Within the first 5 miles the stage was set with Ferrara and two riders from team Zia Velo, Marcel Berger and Joseph Garcia, attacking and riding clear of a 35 rider pack. The trio quickly opened a gap, covering the first hour at 28.6mph with Berger leading the effort, while the follow pack struggled to form a cohesive chase.
55-miles later when Ferrara’s group started the penultimate climb up to Ski Santa Fe, the trio had a 22-minute gap on a now 19 rider group that was no longer chasing, but instead racing for 4th place.
At the base of the climb Ferrara dropped his breakaway companions, deciding to solo the final 15-mile 3300′ ascent and leave no chance of loosing in a sprint. He rolled under a giant GFNY Santa Fe banner in 3:30:55 with a 21.7mph average speed, 4:34 ahead of second place Garcia, 13:44 ahead of Berger and 24:22 ahead 4th place Reed Soehnel.
28 year old Tess Amer out of Boulder, Colorado finished 22nd overall, earning victory in the women’s race with a time of 4:20:25.
1988 Olympian Dave Lettieri finished 8th, showing that at 55 years old he is still as fit as ever and enjoys having fun on the bike.
GFNY Santa Fe results here