GFNY had big plans for a big re-start of their worldwide BE A PRO FOR A DAY® gran fondo series at GFNY La Vaujany in the French Alps on Sunday 20 June.
It did not go as planned.
Although the local government authorized up to 500 participants, the event never came close to that threshold. Lackluster interest in the event from amateur cyclists meant just over 100 riders lined up for the 105 kilometre race and its two ascents of Alpe d’Huez. Cyclists were more interested in riding the Ganten La Mont Blanc Gran Fondo nearby which had over 650 participants.
But GFNY’s issues were not limited to attendance.
It was after climbing Alpe d’Huez on the 150 metre ascent of Col de la Sarenne that GFNY La Vaujany rider Marcus Rienth punctured. It was not a good day for Marcus, and it was about to get a lot worse. The puncture was his second on the day and unfortunately, his spare tube and repair kit did not fix the tire.
So he and a friend waited for GFNY’s RIDE LIKE A PRO® neutral support to come along and provide assistance. They waited, and waited and waited, hoping that by wearing the required GFNY fluorescent green jersey help would arrive soon. It didn’t. They waited for over two hours on the side of the road in the Alps for assistance. Needless to say, Marcus was not impressed with the GFNY experience, “awesome this one day like a pro” experience he posted to social media.
Hopefully Marcus made it back, but it is unclear since he is not listed in the results – which also fell a bit short of “LIKE A PRO.”
Official Results show all riders with a finishing time of 8:00:03, yet we are confident an amateur race in the Alps with over 3700 metres of climbing did not end in a field sprint. It looks like Belgian Tim Alleman sprinted to victory in a 3-up sprint to the finish line with Kenny Nijssen second and Julian Berard third.
GFNY plans to return to Vaujany on 29 August for a second event and is planning to add a third GFNY France race in 2022.
With any luck GFNY will make some Pro Like adjustments and improvements to their BE A PRO FOR A DAY® model before 29 August, otherwise Les Trois Cols Cyclo taking place nearby is a nice option.
PHOTOS: Marcus Reinth, GFNY