Costa Rican Gabriel Rojas celebrated his 23rd birthday by winning the 160km Gran Fondo Andrey Amador on Sunday 12 February from a field of over 5000 riders, including Tour de France champions Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, while Cristel Espinoza was the winner in the women’s category.

“Thanking the sponsors, very happy with the teamwork, is the first race of the year, we are all tired from the Vuelta de Costa Rica, rather there are others who are preparing to go to Spain, this is a very important race,” Rojas told La Republica.

Rojas (7C Economy Lacoinex) who is the 2022 Central America Road Champion defeated Honduran MTB National Champion Luis Lopez in a thrilling sprint finish. Rojas has now set his sites on competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics after winning on Sunday and also taking the Best Young Rider award at the Vuelta de Costa Rica stage race in December.

With a cool 06:00 start time over 5000 riders rolled out from San Jose, Costa Rica for the first race of the 2023 season alongside current WorldTour pro and event namesake Andrey Amador (EF Education First). Over 1100 women participated in the event, the largest in the country.

Newly retired professional Vincenzo Nibali was the fastest of the ex-pros, finishing 61st in 3:29:55 with an average speed of 45.95kph.

Complete Gran Fondo Andrey Amador results HERE.

Photos: GF Andrey Amador