On a cool and wet Sunday in Varzi, Italy, Luca Chiesa (VIVO MG.K VIS DAL COLLE) sprinted to victory at Granfondo del Penice, winning his eighth gran fondo in 2022, making him the most dominant rider on the highly competitive Italian gran fondo racing circuit this season.
Racing conditions were so miserable at Granfondo del Penice, the third of five events on the 2022 Coppa Piemonte DRALI circuit, that 250 of the 750 registered riders did not even get out of bed to start the 121 kilometers long race with 2500 meters climbing in the lumpy Apennines region south of Milan.
Before the start, Chiesa, winner of Granfondo Strade Bianche among others, was one of the favorites and he did not betray expectations. In the second part of the race he initiated a two-man break with Stefano Bonanomi (TEAM MP FILTRI), who Chiesa handily beat in a surge across the wet finish line, both with a time of 3:27:05. In third place Matteo Crosa Lenz (VIRIS VIGEVANO) at 3:36:13.
Lisa Aime (GS PASSATORE) from Cuneo gave the sixth victory of the season to her team in the women’s gran fondo with a time of 3:49:24 and retained the COPPA PIEMONTE DRALI leaders jersey. Completing the podium were Sabrina De Marchi (RODMAN AZIMUT SQUADRA CORSA) at 4:07:13 and Mara Manfredi (VIVO MG.K VIS DAL COLLE) at 4:10:41.
The 81km medio fondo race saw a surprise victory for Trinca Colonel Monica (GROSIO CICLISMO) in the women’s category with a time of 2:31:32. At only her second race, the strong rider from Valtellina happily put three minutes on Calvi Di Coenzo Eleonora (RODMAN AZIMUT SQUADRA CORSA) and seven on Rollini Tamara Giuseppina (CYCLING CENTER).
Filippo Ghiron (DOTTA BIKE) claimed the top podium step in the men’s medio fondo after escaping from the peloton with Edoardo Balzarini (PEDALE BOBBIESE) and then dropping Balzarini on the final run to the finish. Ghiron’s winning time was 2:15:59, with Balzarini at 2:16:14. Alberto Merli won the field sprint for third place with a finish time of 2:18:49
The next race on the 2022 Coppa Piemonte DRALI circuit takes place on 19 June at Granfondo Giro Valli Monregalesi in Mondovi.
Complete Granfondo del Penice results HERE.
Photos: Granfondo del Penice