On Sunday 4 September the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) held their amateur gran fondo national championships at Gran Fondo del Dragone on a demanding 120 kilometer “climbers” course through the Dolomites, including a short gravel sector.

43 year-old American Fortunato Ferrara, who narrowly missed finishing on the podium at the GFNY World Gran Fondo Championships in May, almost pulled off a huge upset, winning the FCI Gran Fondo National Championships from a field top Italian riders.

Ferrara solo attacked early, built a two minute lead and won two KOM prizes (Vena d’Oro and Sant’Anna) before the Italians started to think the unthinkable and organized themselves in earnest to chase the American down. Eventually they caught him while descending Tambre, making a lead group of six young Italians and one middle age American.

On the final Valmorel/Nevegal climb, 30 year-old former professional rider Manuel Senni, who raced for pro teams BMS and Bardiani, attacked, blowing the group apart to claim overall victory, the top podium step and an Italian Tricolore national championship jersey. The ASD Gruppo Ciclistico Borello team rider crossed the finish line solo in 3:34:34, with Rossano Mauti next at 3:35:21 and Marco Provera, who just finished serving a one year doping ban, taking third place in 3:35:32.

Ferrara crossed the finish line in fourth place overall and won his age category by almost nine minutes, but as an American was not eligible for an Italian national title and Tricilore jersey.

1SENNI MANUEL ITA, ASD GRUPPO CICLISTICO BORELLO3:34:34
2MAUTI ROSSANO ITA, AP07 TEAM-CICLI ROSSI3:35:21
3PROVERA MARCO ITA, VIVO-MG.K VIS-DAL COLLE3:35:32
4FERRARA FORTUNATO USA, ZIA VELO3:35:45
5CINI FABIO ITA, ASD CAPITANI MINUTERIE METALLICHE3:35:49
6BONGIORNO FRANCESCO MANUEL ITA, VIVO-MG.K VIS-DAL COLLE3:37:22
7BIANCHI FILIPPO ITA, A.S.D. GARDA SCOTT MATERGIA3:38:31
8ELETTRICO TOMMASO ITA, SYSTEM CARS-COEDIL3:38:37
9CHIESA LUCA ITA, VIVO-MG.K VIS-DAL COLLE3:40:45
10TIZIANI RAPHAEL ITA, TEAM MENTECORPO BY BIEMME3:43:15

The women’s competition came down to a three rider sprint, with Sara Mazzorana fastest in the final 200 meters to win the championship and a prized Tricolore jersey. Martina Trevisiol finished one second behind Mazzorana, with Michela Bergozza two seconds behind to take third place.

1MAZZORANA SARA ITA, TEAM CINGOLANI4:01:56
2TREVISIOL MARTINA ITA, TEAM ASNAGHI GRANFONDO4:01:57
3BERGOZZA MICHELA GIUSEPPINA  ITA, ASD SCATENATI4:01:58
4GORINI MICHELA ITA, TEAM FAUSTO COPPI FERMIGNANO4:06:59
5PASSUTI SONIA ITA, TEAM BASSO BUZZOLAN4:11:25
6ISONNI LUISA ITA, BOARIO A.S.D.4:16:36
7DE CESARE LISA ITA, HIGHROAD TEAM4:16:40
8DE MARCHI SABRINA ITA, RODMAN AZIMUT SQUADRA CORSE ASD4:19:35
9MAPELLI FEDERICA ITA, US BORMIESE4:21:33
10CADORIN ANNA ITA, ALPILATTE B.R.PNEU.ZANE’4:22:40

In total, 13 Italian Tricolore national championship titles and jerseys were awarded to various age/gender categories.

Complete Gran Fondo del Dragone results HERE.

Photos: Gran Fondo del Dragone