Karol Sładek won the third edition of the 120 kilometre Gran Fondo Gdynia in Poland on Sunday. Over 500 cyclists from 8 countries took part in this much anticipated race after a 15 month pandemic pause.
Sładek attacked at kilometre 62 with Spica Solutons teammate Dariusz Kołakowski and were quickly joined by Leszek Kusiowski (Bike U Up-TKJ Matuszewski). By kilometre 80 the leading trio had a 45-second advantage over the chase peloton. Working well together the escapees continued to increase their advantage. Ultimately, Sładek was the first to finish, reaching the white stripe with a time of 2:55:25, while teammate Kołakowski outsprinted Leszek to finish second 0:01:12 behind the winner.
A week ago, Karol Sładek was second in the Polish Masters Championship, losing to Dariusz Kołakowski. At Gran Fondo Gydnia, the two swapped places.
The Women’s gran fondo winner was Klaudia Hot who reached the finish line with a time of 3:37:00. Until the final metres, the competition was very fierce for the second position. Ultimately, with a time of 3:41:03, Bogumiła Chęcińska finished 1 second ahead of Magdalena Kostra to take second place.
The special Red Bull Flying Kilometre Award went to Maciej Rogulski from Warsaw who was quickest over the final kilometre, completing it in 64.43 seconds.
A fast sketchy start with aggressive riding earned a few riders the unceremonious Flying Wheels Award after they got tangled up and crashed.
The next event on the Polish gran fondo calendar is the UCI Gran Fondo World Series Battle Tour of Warsaw on 4 July, where riders can qualify to attend the World Championships in October.
PHOTOS: Gran Fondo Gydnia
GFDN Worldwide Gran Fondo Calendar