Over 250 time trial racers competed Saturday at the UCI Gran Fondo Coimbra Region world championship qualifying event in Portugal, but it was 55-59 year old racers Victoria de Mario Fernandez and Maria Prati that were fastest on the 20.2 kilometers long flat course to claim gold medals, rainbow accented champion’s jerseys and starting spots at the upcoming 2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.

Mario Fernandez, a reigning UCI Gran Fondo Time Trial World Champion, showed the field why he wears world champion rainbow stripes on his jersey by completing the course in a time of 26:49.01, over 20 seconds ahead of second place rider, also 55+, Manuel Sanroman (27:09.99). Alberto Amaral (27:17.50) earned the third place and final podium spot.

Also racing in the 55-59 category was Maria Prati of Italy, a former UCI Gran Fondo World Champion, who won the women’s overall time trial in 31:09.46. Patricia Rosa (32:03.57) was next, followed by Liliana Verissimo (32:59.127).

On Sunday at the 142 kilometers long UCI Gran Fondo Coimbra Region road race, Gil Santos won from a select group of 12 riders that sprinted under the finish banner with a final time of 3:14:16. Augustin Gago finished second in 3:14:17, but only by the width of a tire over Igor Alves in third place, also 3:14:17.

Iulia Legkova convincingly won the women’s gran fondo in 4:28:10 with over a six minute gap on second place Sofia Gomes (4:34:26), and over ten minutes up on Marlene Goncalves (4:38:04) in third place.

In the 75km medio fondo Jorge Alemao won with a total time 2:42:23 and Maria Prati earned her second victory in two days with a time of 2:49:03.

UCI Gran Fondo Coimbra Region was the final qualifying race for the 2022 amateur UCI Gran Fondo World Championships taking place in Trento, Italy in September. Riders finishing in the top 20% of their age/gender category in the time trial or road race qualified to attend the amateur world championships.

Photos: Gran Fondo Coimbra Region