The 1st edition of Gran Fondo Provence Occitane saw over 900 riders race through the colorful Provence region of southern France, including the gorges of the Cèze and l’Ardèche.
But it was two brothers, Clement and Ludociv Delpech, wearing bibs 834 and 835, that dropped all challengers in the 75 kilometer medio fondo race to finish first and second, almost two minutes ahead of a small chase group.
Rather than roll across the finish line together, like brothers with a good competitive rivalry they sprinted against one another for the win. Clement was fastest, beating his brother by over a bike length to finish in 2:04:47. Vincenzo Zamagna soloed in for third place in 2:06:28, while Elodie Lollierue won the women’s race in 2:15:33.
In the 155 kilometer gran fondo event riders encountered 2300 meters vertical, including the climb of Mont Bouquet and a passage through Orgnac l’Aven, before finishing in the old hilltop village of Cornillon where Arne Saey was first to cross the finish line in 4:20:27, beating Clement Cambier by only 0.1 seconds in a two-up sprint. Julien Berard was right behind, finishing third in 4:20:28.
Jouan Severine claimed the women’s 155km title with a time of 4:45:04.
Complete Gran Fondo Provence Occitane results HERE.
Photos: Gran Fondo Provence Occitane