San Juan, Puerto Rico kicked off the 2023 GFNY season by hosting the North American Championships at the second edition of GFNY Puerto Rico this past Sunday on a 133 kilometers long route with 1550 meters vertical ascent.
From a field of 150 elite amateurs, former pros and aging weekend warriors it was a 33 year-old, Felipe Aros with only two years of experience and nine races, who soloed to victory by riding everyone off his wheel.
Under clear sunny skies with temperatures steady at 75F and humidity a sticky 70%, the Miami based team of Aros (Team 305) made the first attack from a small field of 150 gran fondo participants to put two riders up the road, GFNY Florida Champion Leon Santamaria (Colombia) and Felipe Aros (Chile).
A chase group was slow to form, allowing the early break to build a significant lead. Eventually, former Israel Cycling Academy pro Luis Lemus (Mexico), former UCI Continental level pro Flavio de Luna (Mexico) and Camilo Vidal (Chile) took up the chase.
Although the chasing riders eventually caught Santamaria, Aros was untouchable and having the ride of his life, soloing to his first GFNY victory in 3:43:09, almost 04:24 ahead of de Luna (3:47:33) and 8:43 in front of Vidal (3:51:52). Santamaria (3:51:59) and Lemus (3:56:38) were fourth and fifth respectively, with Lemus suffering a late puncture.
In the women’s race Erialis Otero (4:30:17) also soloed to victory with a commanding thirty plus minute lead lead over Fabiola Acaron (5:02:14). Cassandra Sutillo (5:20:21) completed the all Puerto Rican podium.
Complete GFNY Puerto Rico results HERE.