After the 2020 edition’s cancellation due to the pandemic, the 33rd Granfondo Fausto Coppi made a triumphant return this past weekend. The most spectacular and iconic granfondo in Northwest Italy and one of the top international events saw over 2000 cyclists from 22 nations participate.

Starting and finishing in Cuneo, Luca Vergallito from Milan (Officine Mattio Cycling Club) and Samantha Arnaudo from Cuneo (Officine Mattio Cycling Club) took the top honors on the 177 kilometre route with 4200 metres vertical, including the majestic Colle Fauniera with its 22.3 kilometre climb.

The race unfolded on the on the ascent of Piatta Soprana, the second peak of the day, by 2019 winner Ricardo Pichetta when he attacked with 2018 champion Paolo Castelnovo, Stephane Cognet, Marco Provera, Luca Vergallito and Ski Mountaineering World Champion Damiano Lenzi. On the decisive climb of Fauniera an attack by Vergallito could not be matched and he time trialed the remaining 66 kilometres to the finish, crossing almost three minutes ahead of the first pursuers. Vergallito’s time was 5:43:55 at an average speed of 30.9kph. Paolo Castelnovo (Team MP Filtri) and Damiano Lenzi (Atelier della Bici) were next with Castelnovo taking second after Lenzi crashed coming out of the last corner, but still managed to remount and finish third.

The Women’s race saw Samantha Arnaudo win in 6:19:51 at an average of 28kph. Taking the next step on the podium was Annalisa Prato eight minutes behind with Chiara Costamagna earning the final podium spot.

PHOTOS: Granfondo Fausto Coppi

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