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County’s Rob Legge cycles to 33rd in world Gran Fondo Championship in Italy

Cressy’s Rob Legge was just two seconds behind the first Canadian in his cycling category to cross the finish line of the UCI World Gran Fondo Championships, held in the Italian Alps last weekend.

A Gran Fondo is a type of long-distance road cycling ride originating in Italy in 1970 and roughly translates into English as “Big Ride.”

Overall, on Sunday, Sept. 18 Legge finished 33rd in a field of 48 riders in the 70-74 age category – completing the race in three hours, 46 minutes and 45 seconds (average speed of 22 km/h). He was the second Canadian to cross; the first, David Simard, was two seconds ahead of him.

“The course was very challenging, with a 20 km climb early in the race and a nine km climb in the last 20 km,” said Legge. “As challenging were the descents, with twisting turns. The total ascent was over 2,200 meters, some riders calling it the hardest race of their career.”

Legge says he took the cautious approach, climbing comfortably at the beginning and competitively on the final climb.

The Trento Gran Fondo attracted more than 2,000 riders from across the world. European riders dominated the competition, winning most of the events.

“It was quite a contrast from the County Gran Fondo,” said Legge, who finished in 8th place the week before.

Legge had also cycled his way to the world championships last year but decided travel to Europe may not be safe during the pandemic.

He has been cycling for more than 18 years and can frequently travels more than 100km in workouts and events each year, including the local rides and the annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, raising funds for the Princess Margaret Hospital.

His ultimate goal is in 2023 to qualify for the World Gran Fondo event in Glasgow Scotland – in the age 75-79 category.

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  1. SS says:

    Quite an achievement, Rob! So inspiring, and looking at the race profile and how dramatically higher and steeper the climbs were than our terrain here, makes it all the more special. Major kudos!

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