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From GFNY win to Olympic Champion

July 28, 2021

Mass participation cycling races should be essential part of talent discovery and development

NEW YORK CITY, July 28, 2021 – Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer won the 2015 GFNY Mont Ventoux in a dominating manner, beating a pro cyclist by over 45 min.

After seeing her stunning power and performance, GFNY co-founder Uli Fluhme convinced her to try her luck as a pro cyclist. However, initially all attempts to find a team willing to hire her were fruitless.

A year later, Kiesenhofer signed with a Belgian pro team but the style of circuit racing didn’t suit her strengths. She quit the team and focused on her career as a mathematician.

In 2019, Kiesenhofer returned to racing, won the Austrian TT championship and was selected for the Olympics.

Yesterday, she won the women’s road race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Anna is a classic example why the current structure in cycling is broken and why mass participation cycling races like gran fondos should be one of the pillars of discovering and developing future pros,” says Uli Fluhme.

Speed and explosiveness are heavily overweighed compared to endurance in junior and amateur road racing. This style of racing neither prepares riders for the courses they have to race as pros, nor does it offer endurance talent an equal chance to be seen as a prospect for a pro career.

GFNY CEO, Uli Fluhme, has illustrated the role of gran fondos for pro cyclists in two recent articles:

Rethinking Cycling’s FutureA pragmatic proposal for the sport we love.

Granfondo – The Future Path of Pro Cycling

The third chapter will lay out why mass participation cycling races should be step-stones to a pro cycling career.