More than 600 cyclists from 35 nations took the opportunity to race UCI Gran Fondo Suisse last weekend in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. With the gran fondo route and terrain very similar to what riders will experience at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Trento, Italy in September, the race was a perfect opportunity for European riders to get an idea how they will perform at the worlds.
On Saturday, the first event of the weekend took place, a 7.4 kilometer steep uphill time trial on the slopes of the famous Col de la Croix. 25 year-old Swiss rider Dimitri Bussard (Velo Perfection) blazed to the summit in 0:18:35. 42 year-old former Olympic gymnast Andreas Schweizer (0:19:46) was second and Simon Betz (0:19:53) third. Top SkiMo racer Juillaguet Swann (0:20:10) used the event as offseason training and finished just off the podium in fourth.
50+ year-old Jutta Stienen (Velo67 Racing Team) crushed her younger competitors with a time of 0:24:26, handily defeating the next best riders – Julia Schallau (0:26:00) and Stefanie Feuz (0:26:18). .
On Sunday, the main gran fondo event took place on a short 108km road route with a leg crushing 2591 meters of elevation gain and Dimitri Bussard, one again, dominated the race.
Bussard completed the challenging route in 3:14:30, 40 seconds ahead of Italian Rossano Mauti and 70 seconds up on Swiss rider Arnaud Tissieres.
Italian Martina Trevisiol (ASD Asnaghi Cucine) won the women’s gran fondo in 3:39:27, ahead of Swiss riders Aglaia Forrer (3:42:46) and Jutta Stienen (3:46:27).
Participants finishing in the top 20% of each age/gender category earned the opportunity to race for a coveted world championship rainbow jersey at the 2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in September.
Complete UCI Gran Fondo Suisse results HERE.
Photos: Gran Fondo Suisse