Belgian grand fondo powerhouse and virtual everesting world record holder Michiel Minnaert (Bataia Brigade) stormed to victory at Gran Fondo Vosges in France on Sunday, while Belgian superstar Martha Maltha repeated as women’s champion at the UCI Gran Fondo World Series event.

On the 178km route with an intimidating 3500m of climbing, Minnaert dropped breakaway partner Moritz Beinlich to cross the finish in 4:55:02, with a comfortable 30 second lead. Bjorn De Decker was next at 4:59:21. A long procession of solo riders followed, including 2019 UCI Gran Fondo World Champion Maxim Pirard (16th), and former pro Loic Herbreteau (21st), who was convicted of “inciting doping”by a French criminal court last year.

2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Champion Martha Maltha of the Netherlands continued her dominant winning ways, repeating as champion in 5:26:58, with Julia Schallau (5:46:36) and Aurore Pauchet (5:53:03) next.

Alexandre Ricart (3:41:56 M) and Ils Van Der Moeren (4:06:32 W) won the 122km medio fondo with “only” 2700m of climbing.

Over 2000 cyclists participated in Gran Fondo Vosges, with those finishing in the top 25% of their age/gender category automatically qualifying to attend the 2023 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships taking place in Scotland next August.

Complete Gran Fondo Vosges worlds qualifying and race results HERE.

Photo Credit: Eric Thiebaut

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