Cold weather wreaked havoc at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifying races in Jordan this past weekend, forcing over half of the competitors to abandon or not start the final road race on Saturday.

With a time trial on Thursday and two road races on Friday and Saturday, cyclists had multiple opportunities to qualify for the 2023 world championships at UCI Gran Fondo Jordan.

On Friday before cold weather arrived, cyclists “enjoyed” an 18km climb with gradients up to 18% that quickly separated the field on a 74km long route. Russian Sergei Trobetskoi won the day, followed 48 seconds later by fellow Russian Kirill Kolenchits. Jordanian Majid AbuHarrah was six minutes further back in third place. American Meredith Byrne was the by far the strongest woman, beating Natalia Permiakova by more than 20 minutes, with Yifat Safriel third.

Saturday’s road race used basically the same route as the day before, but totaling 84km in length, including the same painfully long 18km climb. But rain showers, strong winds and hypothermic conditions greeted the riders high above the Dead Sea, forcing most of the peloton to abandon and seek care from Jordan Red Crescent emergency volunteers.

Only 41 riders finished Saturday’s race out of over 100 starters. Russian Dmitry Puzanov suffered through the miserable conditions to win in 2:32:08, just beating Sergei Trobetskoi (2:32:11). Meredith Byrne once again dominated the women’s race to win in 3:09:20, over ten minutes ahead of the next competitor.

Riders finishing in the top 20% of their age/gender category automatically qualify to attend the 2023 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships next August in Scotland.

Complete UCI Gran Fondo Jordan results HERE.

Photos: Jordan Red Crescent