The 2019 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Poznań, Poland, saw nearly 2000 riders from 46 countries vying for the UCI World Champion’s rainbow jersey in their respective age groups.
Age groups for both the individual time trial (ITT) and the road race ranged from 19-34 years up to 70-74 years for women and 80-84 years for men.
The truly international flavour of the Championships was reflected in the diverse nationalities of the new UCI World Champions, who came from as far afield as Australia, Norway, Spain, USA and Russia, along with podium athletes from all points of the compass including Canada, Japan, Slovenia, New Zealand and Ireland.
The nations most represented on the ITT podiums were France (six medals) and Poland (five medals) with Germany, USA and Great Britain all on four medals. In the road race, Italy and France led the medals standings, both with seven, followed by Germany with six and Belgium with four.
“These Gran Fondo World Championships represent a major objective for the athletes who have come from all over the world to measure up against like-minded cyclists in a bid to win the prestigious rainbow jersey reserved for the UCI Gran Fondo World Champions,” said David Lappartient, UCI President
Thursday’s individual time trials saw all competitors race over an 18.4km course with minimal climbing, long straights and a section near the start and finish at the renowned Bednary Driving Center race course, in the Pobiedziska district. The overall fastest men’s and women’s times were registered by the USA’s Mason Brock (Men 19-34 age category) in 23:08.69, at an average speed of 46.66 km/h and Poland’s Ewa Bankowska (Women 35-39) in 25:44.65 at an average speed of 41.95 km/h.
In Sunday’s road racing, six men’s age groups and four women’s age groups competed on the 150.2km full distance Gran Fondo course that was most flat with just 452m of elevation gain. The older age groups took on a 107.7km Medio Fondo route with 343m elevation. Both routes started and finished in Poznan, and age-group start times were staggered by seven minutes.
Fasted men’s and women’s times over the 150.2km Gran Fondo course went to Belgian Maxim Pirard (Men 19-34) in a time of 03:22:22 with an average speed of 44.47 km/h and, completing an impressive double after her ITT victory, Ewa Bankowska in 04:08:17, averaging 36.25 km/h.
Russia’s Vladimir Kuznetsov (60-64 years) was the fastest man over the 107.7km Medio Fondo route, recording a time of 2:31.48 for an average of 42.29 km/h. Danish rider Janni Bormann (55-59 years) was the fastest woman in 2:42.20, averaging 39.55 km/h.
Participants qualified for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships at one of the 22 qualifier events of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series held around the world between September 2018 and July 2019. The next season is now under way with the number of qualifying events increasing to 28 between now and next year’s UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Vancouver-Whistler, Canada. The first qualifying event of the new season is the RBC GranFondo Whistler this weekend, September 7th, at the Canadian venue of next year’s World Championships. The full worldwide calendar is available here.
Due to the increased number of qualifier events and to prioritise safety at the 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, the number of qualified riders in each category has been reduced from 25% to 20%.