From GFNY win to Olympic Champion

Mass participation cycling races should be essential part of talent discovery and development

Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer won the 2015 GFNY Mont Ventoux in a dominating manner, beating a pro cyclist by over 45 min.

After seeing her stunning power and performance, GFNY co-founder Uli Fluhme convinced her to try her luck as a pro cyclist. However, initially all attempts to find a team willing to hire her were fruitless.

A year later, Kiesenhofer signed with a Belgian pro team but the style of circuit racing didn’t suit her strengths. She quit the team and focused on her career as a mathematician.

In 2019, Kiesenhofer returned to racing, won the Austrian TT championship and was selected for the Olympics.

Yesterday, she won the women’s road race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Anna is a classic example why the current structure in cycling is broken and why mass participation cycling races like gran fondos should be one of the pillars of discovering and developing future pros,” says Uli Fluhme.

Speed and explosiveness are heavily overweighed compared to endurance in junior and amateur road racing. This style of racing neither prepares riders for the courses they have to race as pros, nor does it offer endurance talent an equal chance to be seen as a prospect for a pro career.

GFNY CEO, Uli Fluhme, has illustrated the role of gran fondos for pro cyclists in two recent articles:

Rethinking Cycling’s Future– A pragmatic proposal for the sport we love.

Granfondo – The Future Path of Pro Cycling

The third chapter will lay out why mass participation cycling races should be step-stones to a pro cycling career.


About GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series

GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series is a sports event company with three decades of experience in racing, planning and organizing events. The global endurance sports brand hosts multiple events throughout the year around the world on five continents.

Working with partners around the world to deliver a first-class experience, GFNY Global Endurance Sports Series puts their athletes first.


20 plus events around the world. View the 2021-2022 calendar here

Riders get to BE A PRO FOR A DAY ® by competing against others, themselves and the clock in a personal endurance challenge.

Top 10% (20% at regional championships) of finishers in each age group qualify for the Racer Corral at every GFNY World event.

GFNY World Championship NYC

The 10th annual GFNY World Championship New York will be held on May 15, 2022. The race features the world’s most international peloton with riders from over 90 countries. Athletes take on a challenging 100-mile route from NYC to Bear Mountain to Fort Lee to compete against each other, the clock and themselves in a personal endurance challenge.

The official GFNY website is:

Further Material for Media Use

GFNY Peru video: here
GFNY Press Images: here
GFNY World calendar graphic: here
Previous GFNY press releases: here

Media Contact

Gran Fondo New York Inc.

Jenna van der Heide, 
Uli Fluhme, 


Partners - Global