After being postponed from earlier this year due to a high number of coronavirus cases, the inaugural L’Etape Rio de Janiero took place on 21 November from the center of Rio with the Men’s victory going to professional rider Francisco Chamorro (MEMORIAL-SANTOS), while Laís Saes (LULU FIVE) was the Women’s champion.
Almost 2000 amateur cyclists participated, with most riding the flat 102 kilometres long gran fondo route that passed Brasil’s world famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. With picture perfect postcard views of the beaches, plains, mountains and Rio de Janeiro, L’Etape Rio is part of the 25 event Tour de France gran fondo series designed to make participants feel like a pro in unique venues around the world.
“It was a very exciting final, I’ve won other races on this circuit in Rio de Janeiro and I really enjoyed the race. It was a difficult route, very wet and with good opponents,” the 40 year-old Argentine Chamorro said afterwards.
José Eriberto Filho (ERIBERTRO MEDEIROIS) and Alessandro Guimarães (SWIFT CARBON) were second and third.
Three-time L’Etape Brasil champion Otávio Bulgarelli finished seventh, almost two minutes behind the top three riders. Pippo Garnero won the King of the Mountains competition.
São Paulo native Laís Saes dominated the Women’ Race from end to end. “It could not have been better. I came to this test very confident, I was calm, my idea was to fight for the general. It’s a route that has a lot of my characteristic, as it doesn’t have a lot of steep climb,” said Laís Saes .
In second place in the Women’s Race was Carol Bilato (BILATO), while Bia Neres (STRAVA) finished third.
PHOTOS: L’Etape Rio de Janiero
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