The top institution of the Italian sports celebrated with Felice Gimondi – still recovering from the bad bike crash of a few days ago, but in great spirit – a beautiful 18th edition of Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi, with a bright sun shining over it. After an off-year, the top event of amateur cycling opened a great day for sports in Bergamo, with the official Azzurri d’Italia meeting taking place in the city at the same time.
Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò – who attended the awarding ceremony along with CONI General Secretary Roberto Fabbricini, former basketball player Pierluigi Marzorati and Azzurri d’Italia’s president Gianfranco Baraldi -hailed Felice Gimondi warmly: “As I had the opportunity to be in Bergamo today – Italian sport Chairman said – I took the opportunity to meet Felice and address my best wishes to him for a good path to recovery, while being present at this very nice event bringing his name”. Italian Cycling Association Renato Di Rocco welcomed the CONI President after riding the short course on a brand-new Bianchi’s saddle. “I enjoyed the beautiful ride and the perfect organization”, Di Rocco commented.
Holding conversation with Malagò and Di Rocco at the Hospitality Village, Gimondi asked for higher consideration for his event: “I don’t know so many granfondo organized with the same quality standard, hence a calendar safeguarding this kind of events would be highly appreciated”, Gimondi argued.
Under Giuseppe Manenti and his organizational staff’s guidance, the competition ran smoothly until the over 2200 participants finally reached the finish line, with some drama around the overall victory, as the first to the line of long route (Alessandro Bertuola) could not be ranked, as the regulations do not allow former pro-riders within the last 5 years to be classified: as a consequence, the winner was Roberto Cunico. Antonio Camozzi won medium route race, same as Bianchi Factory Team’s Daniele Gualemi did in the short one. Marina Ilmer (long route), Manuela Sonzogni (medium route) and Valentina Mabritto (short route) clinched the women’s titles.
Among many VIPs in the action, chef Davide Oldani hung it there over Selvino ascent and completed the short race. However, the definitive hero of the day was back number # 13 Giorgio Murari, who joined Bergamo by bike once his work shift was over at midnight, completing his long-way run anyway. That’s true passion…
The complete standings of 18th Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi are available on official website www.felicegimondi.com