The pink Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi ends with thriller

In Bergamo, the challenge of over 4.000 riders ends up in the sprint edged by Andrea Gallo, then disqualified for irregular start. The long-route success went to Enrico Zen among men, whilst Simona Parente led the field in the women’s race

A coup de theatre sealed a beautiful 21st edition of the Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi. No less than 4.105 riders have honored the feats of Felice Gimondi in pink: the three-time Giro d’Italia winner and Italian cycling icon lined up for the start once again today, even with no competitive intent. “I recommend to everybody to ride with prudence and respect the rules of the road, but I know a mass charge will unleash as soon as the start is given. Enjoy the race everybody,” said Felice before the go, preceded by the Italian National anthem.
The race panned out in great fashion, with no rain even if in chilly weather.  After 4h40 of tightly contested racing on the 162,1 km distance, a sprint was needed to determine the winner. Andrea Gallo (Team Isolmant), 30-year-old from Piedmont, mechanical expert, got on top of it in front of Enrico Zen (Cycling Team Terenzi) and Belgian Frederic Glorieux, sealing a perfect day that confirmed the excellence of the Granfondo organized in Bergamo by GM Sport.

But it wasn’t over: the 30-year-old from Piedmont, the fastest to the finish line on the long route, was scratched from the classification due to rule infringement. While starting with number 2227, the electronic timing system clearly indicated that he taken off from a more favorable grid, as eventually admitted by Gallo. The victory eventually went to the runner-up to the line, Enrico Zen, with Belgian Frederic Glorieux in second and Paolo Castelnovo (Team MP Filtri) on the lowest step of the podium.

Organizer Giuseppe Manenti was neat in commenting such unpleasant episode: “We work for a whole year to set up an event in which the riders’ safety and the race regularity must come first. We have just applied the rules.” Enrico Zen was not impressed with the win by default. “Winning means coming in first, and today it wasn’t like that,” said the rider from Bassano del Grappa, a former carpenter, now office employee.

Without such episode, the whole 21st Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi would have been dominated by two teams: Team Morotti (three victories, with Glauco Maggi and Alice Donadoni on the 89,4 km short route, and with Luca Cantini in the 128,8 km medium route) and Team Isolmant (that even with the Gallo’s scratch still secured two wins among women, with Manuela Sonzogni in the medium route and with Simona Parente, who claimed her second straight success on the longest distance).