Former Tour de France star Frank Schleck’s Gran Fondo Schleck on Saturday was the largest UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifying race so far this year, with over 3000 riders participating in the sold-out “Schleck-x-perience”race.
On a beautiful day in Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxemborg, Frank led the peloton out of the small city and onto his old lumpy training routes, with riders choosing a 155 kilometers long gran fondo or 90km medio fondo route.
Among the many amateur cyclists a few former top-tier professionals could be seen, including Jempy Drucker (COFIDIS), Ben Gastauer(AG2R-CITROEN), Laurent Didier (TREK-SEGAFREDO) and the German Fabian Wegmann (GEROLSTEINER).
But the ex-pros left the hard racing to three youngsters, with 27 year-old Belgian Wesley van Dyck (TEAM SHIFTING GEARS) winning the 155km race in 3:46:22, two seconds ahead of Michiel Minnaert (STOREX BATAIA GRANFONDO TEAM) and half a minute up on local Luxembourger Tom Paquet.
Fem van Empel won the 155km women’s race in 3:57:53.
|1||VAN DYCK Wesley||TEAM SHIFTING GEARS||3:46:22|
|2||MINNAERT Michiel||STOREX BATAIA GRANFONDO TEAM||3:46:24|
|5||VALTEY Max||TEAM SNOOZE-VSD||3:48:07|
|6||GRUITHUIJZEN Paul||SCORPIONS RACING TEAM||3:48:07|
|7||VAN COPPENOLLE Lars||TRISPORT PHARMA CT||3:48:16|
|8||CLÉ Brent||SCORPIONS RACING TEAM||3:48:17|
|9||DE BOCK Stijn||S-BIKES DOLTCINI||3:48:17|
|10||CLAUW John-Ross||VIND! CYCLING PROJECT||3:48:17|
The 90km medio fondo race came down to a large field sprint with Steve Guillaume (SLC²) the fastest over the last 200 meters to claim victory.
|2||BERTON Noa||SCHLECK PELOTON||2:18:38|
|3||SCHELLEVIS Remco||UWTC DE VOLHARDING||2:18:39|
|5||REICHLING Lex||VV TOOLTIME||2:18:39|
|6||REULAND Philippe||VC FRIBOURG||2:18:39|
Not content to let the men ride away with victory, three women were in the mix at the end of the 90km race, each trying to win the overall race and the women’s title. All three crossed the finish line in a row with a time of 2:18:40, with 51 year-old Belgian Marijke De Smedt (KEUKENS REDANT CYCLING TEAM) besting two riders half her age, Eleonora Entius UWTC DE VOLHARDING) and Julia Schallau (ROSE).
Complete UCI Schleck Gran Fondo results HERE.
Photos: Schleck Gran Fondo