“The event was phenomenal because we were graced by good weather with sunshine and it became a gorgeous day with a breeze from the ocean,” said Daniela Puglielli of Gran Fondo USA. “This race is becoming a classic, starting in Little Italy, and all the riders rode out to the seaside.”
Former professional cyclist, Peter “Paco” Wrolich of Austria, lined up at the front of the mass of cyclists under the Little Italy arch in downtown San Diego. The sound of three Ferrari engines and two Ducati motors roared to signify the start of the 168km Gran Fondo and 100km Medio Fondo.
The Gran Fondo route included more than 5,500 feet of climbing that included a timed King (and Queen) of the Mountain ascent on Honey Springs Road, a 10.7 km ascent that average a 5.2 percent gradient. Italy’s Luca Ortolani won the race to the top of the climb in a time of 29:17 followed by Lars Finanger in a time of 29:22 and David Brummer who made it to the top in 30:13.
Canada’s Yew Ann won the women’s timed ascent in a time of 35:47 followed by Athena Countouriotis who rode in 36:32 and Terry Martin Durel in 38:18. “This woman was spectacular because she arrived to the Gran Fondo without her bike and had to borrow a friend’s bike,” said Puglielli. “But she still went out there and did it.”
Gran Fondo USA, organizers of the event, put on a two-day expo that showcased more than 70 exhibitors including top Italian cycling brand Colnago.
The next event will be held at the inaugural event in Los Angeles that will start on Rodeo Drive on June 26 and will coincide with the Dolce Vita week-long Italian festival. The 2nd annual Philadelphia ride will take place on August 14 and the series will conclude at a new venue in Miami on November 20.
Full details of the event appeared on BikeRadar.