The 2021 UCI Gran Fondo World Series (GFWS) started today, 3 February, at Granfondo Australia.
The Australian Government along with the Australian Department of Health and Australian Cycling authorized the event to proceed as scheduled in Ballarat, Victoria alongside the Australian Cycling Road National Championships.
122 amateur gran fondo cyclists raced against the clock on a 23.6km Gran Fondo Time Trial course. The fastest rider on the day was Grant Stubbs who finished in 35:39.90 and qualified to represent Australia in the 40-44 category at the 2021 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in September in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Erin Bertram finished in 42:00.98 to win the Women’s race and also qualify for the World Championships.
On Saturday 6 February 500 riders will start en-mass and race 58km on the iconic Buninyong road circuit ahead of the pro/elite riders. Riders finishing in the top 20% will qualify for the World Championships.
With the world-wide pandemic still raging, the event may be only one of a few UCI GFWS races taking place in 2021. So far, six of twenty-five races have already announced delays or postponements. In 2020, the UCI Gran Fondo World Series was cancelled due to the pandemic.