The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Vienna 2015 was not only a cycling race but also a big cycling festival – in the heart of Vienna. About 2000 cyclists offered a lovely show to the numerous spectators along the route and at the finish area at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion. Thanks to the live stream of our media partner Laola1.tv the race could be watched all over the world.
Starters from 42 nations mastered one of the two different routes – the 67km Medio Fondo or the 137km Gran Fondo. To ensure sufficient security, 150 kilometers roads were blocked for car traffic during the whole duration of the competitions. There were even participants from Singapore and the Philippines who made their way to the race. But Andreas Schulz had the hardest journey. The 53-year-old guy cycled from Bremen to Vienna to start at the Gran Fondo Vienna 2015. After more than 1100 kilometers through Germany and the Czech Republic, the 137 kilometers of the Gran Fondo were unmentionable for him.
The female participants showed a great performance over both distances. Sabine Trattler won the Medio Fondo. On the flat and 67 kilometers long course Trattler rode with an average speed of 34 km/h. Babsi Scheck (Austria) and Claudia Roschmann (Austria) completed the winners’ podium. The winning time was 1:19:94 (after hot start). At the 137km Gran Fondo there was a very tough fight between Germany and Austria. The German Brigitte Stocker won the Gran Fondo in a photo finish. She was followed by two Austrians – Karin Pekovits finished in front of Anna Hofmann. The winning time was 3:33:20,03 (after hot start). Stocker rode with an average speed of 32 km/h.
At the men’s competition of the 67km Medio Fondo, the speed of the race was quite high from the beginning on. After crossing the Danube there was a crash in the top group. What followed was a sign of great sportsmanship: The leading cyclist waited for the two participants who crashed, to cycle to the finish together. At the end the Austrian cyclist Mario Obermeier was the fastest. He defeated Haris Bihorac (Serbia) in the final sprint. Alex Pachschwöll (Austria) finished third.
The Gran Fondo was really thrilling and the route more demanding than in the previous year. Shortly after the neutralized phase the cyclists had two challenge the 18% steep Holzgasse. At the climbs to the Dopplerhütte and the Tulbinger Kogel the wheat separated from the chaff. Bernhard Kohl won the cycling marathon – another two Austrian cyclists followed: Thomas Strobl and Markus Feyerer.
Apart from the two races a broad framework programme was offered to the participants and the spectators. The youngest cyclists and their families completed the Coca-Cola Family Giro and rode along the Ringstraße. They enjoyed the car-free route and the numerous sights. Afterwards, the original Giro flair was celebrated at the EXPO at the finish area.
Thanks to to all the starters, sponsors, partners, authorities and of course the police and the many helpers who made the Gran Fondo Vienna 2015 possible.