The campaign to qualify for next year’s UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) Final got under way in Australia at the weekend with the Wiggle Amy’s Gran Fondo. The fourth edition of the event, which is organised in memory of Australian cycling team member Amy Gillett, saw more than 5000 riders participate in the cycling event along the iconic Victorian coast line.
The top 25% of riders in each age category of the main 110km race qualified for next year’s UWCT Final which will take place in Aalborg and Hobro, Denmark, in September 2015.
The UCI Eco-cyclo Patrol, which encourages environmentally friendly behaviour at amateur cycling events throughout the world, had five members in the peloton of Amy’s Gran Fondo.
“This is a very friendly event benefiting from fully closed roads,” said patrol member Nick Gatland. He said that riders’ behaviour was very good overall but that the patrol would propose a formal throw-away area at the bottom of the last climb for next year.
“Too many riders were hoping to save a few 10ths of a second by unloading their rubbish,” he explained.
As well as the 110km Gran Fondo race, the Australian organisers staged a 40km Medio Fondo and a 7km Piccolo Fondo for children and their parents. A new feature this year was the inaugural Amy’s Otway Classic race for top Australian women and the Amy’s Wall in which riders set off four at a time from a standing start to attack a brutal 110m climb.
Funds raised from the Amy’s Gran Fondo go to the Amy Gillett Foundation to continue its mission to promote safe cycling in Australia.
UCI Vice-President and Amy Gillett Foundation CEO Tracey Gaudry was full of praise for the 2014 event: “Amy’s Gran Fondo already had the recipe right but this year we wanted to put the icing on the cake,” she said. “We strove to sell out the event and we have achieved over 5000 participants. We created Amy’s Wall, a spectacular opener for the event and we put the women first by staging Amy’s Otway Classic before the main race.”
The next event on the UWCT calendar is the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic in South Africa on October 12th. The remainder of the series will take place between March and September next year.