On the 11th of June, 300 riders from 8 countries lined up at the start of the Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo.
The inaugural edition of this event was also the first Canadian UCI Gravel World Series race. With wide gravel sections crossing the rolling terrain of Ontario’s lake region, this event has everything to become a favorite of many a gravel grinder.
The challenging course meant we could expect an interesting race, and it lived up to this promise. The punchy climbs along the 42 km loop scattered the riders into smaller groups, but also inspired Canadian cyclists Andrew L’Esperance and Connor Willson to go for a breakaway. L’Esperance won in 3:39:57, 2 minutes and 37 seconds before his compatriot. 10 minutes later, junior rider Barry Ashlin (CAN) won the sprint for the third place. A very strong result for this 15-year-old cyclist.
In the women’s race, Canadian national gravel champion Devon Clarke took the win in 4:09:20. Dutch rider Tessa Neefjes came second in 4:16:42, with Ella Bloor (AUS) getting bronze in 4:23:03.