Istria Granfondo experiences significant growth


Taking place in Umag, Croatia, Istria Granfondo marks its tenth edition and its second as a qualifying event for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. Set amidst the Stella Maris holiday complex, with its array of accommodations and sports facilities, this event unfolds near the Croatian peninsula’s border with Slovenia and Italy.

The time trial on Friday introduces a new 21.8km route, encompassing a challenging out-and-back loop that ascends slightly before returning to come back on the other side of the road. On Saturday, the road races offer a granfondo distance of 112km, serving as a qualifying distance for younger participants. Men over 60 and women over 50 can qualify on the 87km mediofondo course, which shares the same route but skips the second loop between kilometers 60 and 85. The daunting Oprtalj climb, tackled twice during the granfondo, stands out as the day’s primary challenge, with its 6km stretch boasting an average gradient of 7.8% and peaks reaching up to 12% at the outset.

This year’s event sees remarkable growth, with over 1000 riders from 33 different countries registering— a nearly 50% increase compared to last year.

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