Cyclists from all across Europe made the pilgrimage to Bergamo, Italy for the 24th Felice Gimondi International Granfondo last weekend, the first edition without Gimondi, winner of all three Grand Tours and the World Championship, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 76 from a heart attack.
After two years of cancelling the event due to the pandemic, 3500 cyclists lined up in the rain to pay their respects and ride on the roads Gimondi loved and trained on for decades.
“It was beautiful and a bit melancholy,” his daughter Norma said. “The absence of my father was felt at the start especially, then along the route where I heard so many people call him loudly. It means his memory is alive.”
Manuel Senni (A.S.D. GRUPPO CICLISTICO BORELLO), a professional rider until 2021, won the classic 145 kilometer gran fondo race in 3:55:22, 24 seconds ahead Frenchman Loic Ruffaut and almost 3 minutes in front of Andrea Gallo.
“I knew these roads, as an amateur,” Senni said atop the podium. “The professional career is now behind us. Now it’s a hobby, my brother accompanies me, winning anyway remains a good feeling.”
Annalisa Prato (A.S.D. TEAM MENTECORPO), who was caught cheating at GFNY Cannes in March, easily dominated the women’s gran fondo race, finishing in 4:12:00, over 11 minutes up on Martina Trevisiol and Maria Elena Palmisano, who crossed under the finish banner in second and third place respectively.
Medio fondo (128km) success went to Rossano Mauri (AP 07 TEAM CICLIROSSI), ahead of 2019 winner Federico Brevi and Francesco Avanzo. For the women, Alessia Bortoli (CAPITANI MINUTERI) prevailed, beating Valeria Curnis and Chiara Quartesan.
Complete Felice Gimondi race results HERE.
Photos: Felice Gimondi International Granfondo