Just before 13:00 on Sunday 28 year-old German Simon Betz sprinted to victory from a five man breakaway at UCI Granfondo Vosges in La Bresse-Hohneck, France and punched his ticket to the 2021 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Sarajevo on 10 October.
The fourth edition of Granfondo Vosges saw 452 cyclists take on the 175 kilometre gran fondo, while 367 rode the shorter 122 kilometre medio fondo.
Betz who finished in 4:57:54 is a semi-pro rider who’s best result this year is 35th at the Pro/Elite German Time Trial Championships held in June.
Finishing just behind Betz was 41 year-old former Belgian pro Frederic Glorieux (4:57:58), Simon Combes (4:58:05), Arne Bauters (4:58:07) and Tim Alleman (4:58:09).
The five riders escaped the peloton after attacking 120 kilometres into the race on the Pas de l’Âne, a short but brutal 1.2 kilometre long climb averaging 7.5 percent, but with some bits topping 12.5 percent!
Elodie Robert won the Women’s race, followed by Stéphanie Gros and Katie van Geyte.
The officials also disqualified three riders: Victor Thomas (4:28:18), Tanguy Hertzog (4:28:18) and Philippe Goettelmann (4:42:27). All three short-cut the official course and finished minutes ahead winner Betz.
With the Gran Fondo World Championships just four weeks away, two qualifying races remain, UCI Gran Fondo Suisse on 19 September and UCI Schleck Gran Fondo in Luxembourg on 25 September.
Complete Granfondo Vosges results HERE.