Gran Fondo for Haiti in Cividale del Fruili, located in the northeast corner of Italy, drew close to 1000 participants for the 29th edition, including ex-pro Federico Pozzetto and 2021 UCI Gran Fondo World Champion and former Tour de France star Johnny ”Crash” Hoogerland.
The 156 kilometers long race came down to four elite riders vying for victory on the final climb and descent, with Federico Pozzetto (Vivo Mg.KVis Dal Colle) prevailing after Johnny Hoogerland crashed, Enrico Zen was dropped and Andrea Chiminello ran out of strength in the final sprint.
“It was tough, I expected there to be selection on the last climbs. In the end there were four of us left and, in the last descent, I followed Chiminello, who knew the route much better than I did. In the end it went well and I’m very happy with this success,” Pozzetto said on the podium.
Chiminello finished in second place at 4:31:28, two seconds behind Pozzetto, with Zen coming in third at 4:32:06.
Hoogerland, who famously crashed into barbwire during the 2011 Tour de France and most recently crashed just days before winning the 2021 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, was following expert downhiller Chiminello on the final descent when Hoogerland misjudged his ability and crashed out of contention, eventually finishing almost three minutes down in fourth place at 4:34:15
Slovenian Laura Šimenc (De Rosa-Santini) won the women’s race in 4:48:08, almost six minutes over Eva Zorman. Katarina Novak was third.
Tomaz Cefuta (Flamme Rouge) won a hard-fought 108 kilometers medio fondo, ahead of Roberto Vidoni and Andrea Calza. 55 year-old Daniel Pontoni, 1992 and 1997 cyclocross world champion, finished fifth. Among the women Federica Giacometti (New Molini Dolo) won ahead of Barbara Duse and Chiara Grossutti.
Complete Gran Fondo for Haiti results HERE.
Photos: Gran Fondo for Haiti