Gran Fondo Perth: former national champ Paul Miller takes out event

Gran Fondo Perth: former national champ Paul Miller takes out event
Gran Fondo Perth: former national champ Paul Miller takes out event
Gran Fondo Perth: former national champ Paul Miller takes out event

A WEST Australian was the overall winner of the Gran Fondo cycle race which concluded in Kalamunda on Sunday after three days of trials around Perth.

Former Australian road racing champion Paul Miller, who competed in the 55-59 year old age group, claimed line honours ahead of Jim McMurray from New Zealand and Andrej Zavbi from Slovenia.

After a disastrous run in the first Gran Fondo, the race ran for the second time from September 1-4 and was a resounding success.

It is the first time the event has been held in Perth, after a trial run in March highlighted some of the headaches for organisers that needed to be rectified before the weekend’s event was held.

After 15 UCI Gran Fondo World Series events held around the world, managing director David Sierakowski said the race had riders from all around the world, with more than 600 internationals competitors.

“It was a huge success,” Mr Sierakowski said.

Although a Belgian cyclist was the first to cross the finish line in Kalamunda, Miller, who lives in Kalgoorlie, won the race.

The final race saw the peloton cover 155km leaving from Elizabeth Quay and finishing in Kalamunda.

Miller said he had to get his timing right to win the race.

“I wanted the correct opportunity to break away and I worked out after a lap on the course that the best place to do that would be in the final 10kms of the event, which is what I did,” he said.

Clear weather helped the cyclists in the time trials.

The championships were held in Australia for the first time, with cyclists aged between 19 years and 77 battling for the coveted rainbow world champion jersey across the time trial and road race disciplines.

Kicking off last Thursday, more than 1500 entrants from 37 different countries rolled through Perth and Rottnest Island to participate.

UCI federation vice president Tracey Guadry said the event was a huge success.

“The 2016 Gran Fondo World Championships is the preeminent mass participation cycling series in the world,” she said.

“Perth staged a fantastic world championship quality event, and over 40 athletes go home new world champions and the UCI could not be more delighted.”

The opening day of the event saw 400 riders converge on Rottnest Island for a 19.4km time trial, which was delayed due to the boat carrying the bikes leaving later than expected.

1. Finish Line Kalamunda township.

2. Peloton on the ZigZag

3. Peloton on the Zigzag