The first edition of GFNY Bento Gonçalves rolled through the Mediterranean style wine region of Brazil last weekend, with over brave 800 participants starting and finishing in wet conditions.
The race, which is one of over 20 in the worldwide GFNY gran fondo series, was 143 kilometers in length with a leg busting 2957 meters of elevation gain, including a final 12km ascent to the finish line. Riders finishing in the top 20% of their age/gender category qualify to start in the front staging pens at the GFNY World Championships planned May 2023 in New York City.
In addition, the overall male and female champions at every GFNY event receive a free trip and entry to the annual GFNY World Championships.
At GFNY Bento Goncalves it was pro rider Alex Ferreira de Melo (Maxel Cycling Team) for the men and Érika Soares (LuluFive Team) for the women. They were the fastest with Alex crossing the finish line in 4:04:49 and Érika stopping the clock at 4:55:30.
“The organization of the race was perfect, impeccable. I’m glad that Brazilian cycling is coming back to a great moment, because we don’t have so many tests of this level in the country. The change in weather and the final mountain, with 12km of ascent, were certainly the most challenging aspects of the route,” Alex Melo said afterwards.
Érika Soares, who finished fourth at the 2018 GFNY World Championships, is expected to return to New York City in 2023 to compete once again for a world title.
Complete GFNY Bento Goncalves results HERE.
Photos/Media: GFNY Bento Goncalves