Former Tour de France rider Raimondas Rumsas of Lithuania won the first edition of Gran Fondo del Vento in Italy on Tuesday 25 April. Rather than compete across the entire 117 kilometers long route with 2900 meters of climbing, riders were timed on the two penultimate climbs (San Pellegrinetto and Orrido di Botri), with final rankings determined by total time.
The 51 year-old Rumsas (unattached) defeated 29 year-old Emmanuel Labate (TEAM STEFFAN) by just 8 seconds. On the first test, San Pellegrinetto, Rumsas opened a 24 second lead which was enough to secure the win, even with a strong challenge from Labate on the second test. Marco Bassoli (at 53 seconds ), Andrea Lucatelli (at 56 seconds) and Giuseppe Pierotti (at 1 minute 11 seconds) finished next. Giorgia Bandini (BOMBARDIER SQUADRA CORSE ) won for the women, with Gioia Fusci (at 5 minutes 57 seconds) next.
Rumsas is best known for finishing a surprising 3rd overall at the 2002 Tour de France, before being implicated in a doping scandal on the final day of the race when his wife was apprehended with a car full of corticoids, erythropoietin (EPO), testosterone, growth hormones and anabolic steroids. One year later Rumsas tested positive for EPO after finishing 6th at the Giro d’Italia and was subsequently stripped of his placing.
On the 75km Gran Fondo del Vento route Nicolas Lussana (KASK BERGAMO CYCLING CLUB) was the best climber, finishing 39 seconds ahead Francesco Stolzi and 1 minute 4 seconds up on Omar Trigetti. Irene Savelli (YOUNG RIDERZ PISTOIA) was the fastest woman. 52 year-old Michele Bartoli, who raced alongside Rumsas in the 2000s and won Liege-Bastogne-Liege twice, finished 14th, 3 minutes 55 seconds behind Lussana.
Complete results Gran Fondo del Vento HERE.
Photo Credit: Il Giunco.net
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